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About the video that introduced the charm of the Aomori Nebuta Festival

This video, “AOMORI NEBUTA MATSURI - IS JAPAN COOL? MATSURI - Matsuri (Nebuta Festival/Aomori)”, was released by “ANA Global Channel”.

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is a large-scale summer festival held in Japan every August in Aomori City of Aomori Prefecture in the Tohoku region and it is counted as one of the “Three Great Tohoku Festivals” and the “Three Great Nebuta Festivals”.
The number of visitors every year is recorded to be over 2 million, and not only Japanese people come but tourists from overseas come to see this as well.

In this video, we will interview the craftsman of the colossal lantern, which is the centerpiece of the festival and the Haneto, who are the dancers of the festival.

What are the colossal lanterns and haneto, which are the highlights of the Aomori Nebuta Festival?

Image of Nebuta, Aomori, Japan
Photo:Nebuta, Aomori, Japan

As for the best part of the Aomori Nebuta Festival, it is the parading of the giant lanterns throughout the city, which you can see from 2:50 of the video.
The Nebuta is made by craftsmen called “Nebuta craftsmen” and there are many production organizations in Japan.
The average size is 9m wide, 5m high and 7m deep, which is surprisingly large.
Nebuta has a long history and there are various methods and materials to making the lanterns; however, basically, a base is made from square lumber and wire, and then light bulbs and fluorescent lights are attached to it.
After that, thick Japanese paper will be pasted then color will be added.

Many of the designs are based on Japanese mythology, however they are made with different designs every year.
The video shows an interview with a Nebuta craftsman and the production site of the Nebuta from 0:34.

At the Aomori Nebuta Festival, you can hear the shouting of “Rassera” along with the sound of the beating drums.
This shouting is the calling out of the Haneto.
You will also be able to hear the vigorous shouting of “Rassera” from everywhere in the video.

The Haneto, as the name suggests, is a dance that is characterized by bouncing.
It is a simple attire that the Japanese people are familiar with, wearing a yukata and donning a hat adorned with flowers.
From 6:48 in the video, you will be able to see an interview with a person called the Haneto Master, who is organizing a Haneto instruction program.

The origins of the Aomori Nebuta Festival

The origins of the Aomori Nebuta Festival are thought to have been one of the “Tanabata Festivals” that was held in various parts of Japan.
The Tanabata Festival is an event in which you put your impurity and sins onto a lantern on the night of Tanabata and you let it adrift down a river or on the sea.
At the present-day Aomori Nebuta Festival, the Nebuta would be paraded around at night and after that, on the last night, it would be paraded around at sea.
This custom comes from the custom of setting lanterns adrift in rivers and the sea.

The etymology of “Nebuta Matsuri (Nebuta Festival)” comes from the event “Nemuri-nagashi”, and it is thought that “Nemuri” pronounced with more of an accent gradually became “Nebuta”.

Summary of the introduction of the charm of the Aomori Nebuta Festival, an event of great enthusiasm

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is registered as an important intangible folk cultural property of Japan.
It is a traditional event that the Japanese should protect and preserve.
The “Nebuta no Ie Wa・Rasse” that is located in Aomori City, is a tourist facility in which you will be able to learn the history of the Nebuta Festival.
At the “Nebuta Museum・Nebuta Hall”, Nebuta parts are on display.

The Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the largest summer festivals in Japan.
Why not go and see the colossal lanterns in person?

【Official Website】Aomori Nebuta Festival Official Website

【Trip Advisor】Aomori Nebuta Festival

Written By
Last Updated : Jun. 3, 2023
小林 達之(Tatsuyuki Kobayashi)
A writer who loves Japanese traditions, food, and music
The Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the largest summer festivals in Japan! The sights of enormous, beautiful lanterns parading through the city is in one word, magnificent!
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