Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Funekko Nagashi Matsuri – Japanese Boat Burning Festival

Funekko Nagashi Matsuri
Japanese Boat-Burning Festival

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Boats burning on the river in Morioka

Obon is the time for honoring the dead and praying to the ancestral spirits in Japan. Traditionally it is believed that the souls of the departed return to the world of the living and later return at the end of Obon. Many Japanese head to their home towns in mid-August to pray at their ancestors’ graves.

Numerous communities put on dances known as Bon Odori. The most common feature of Obon is the lighted paper lantern floating on the water. People placed lanterns with the names of the departed written on them in waterways. These lanterns represent the souls returning to the underworld, the other world.

The city of Morioka in northern Japan sends the spirits off in style by burning makeshift boats stuffed with fireworks.

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Makeshift boats are created specifically for the festival then burnt

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The boats are packed with fireworks

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Beowulf and the Vikings would have loved this festival

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September 9, 2009 - Posted by | culture, event, festival, fire, fireworks, Funekko Nagashi, iwate, japan, japanese culture, matsuri, morioka, Obon, tohoku, travel | , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Dave, you go to the most interesting and usual festivals in Japan – this one is truly amazing, thanks for sharing. Great pictures as well, wow.

    Comment by bartman905 | September 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. Wow! What an amazing sight!

    Comment by Somewhere in the world today | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. Awesome web-site by Donita Juriga

    Comment by jlnikkijamesm3 | June 16, 2011 | Reply


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