Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)

What are Hanabi?

Hanabi means fire-flowers, and reflects the smasher of fireworks as a much-loved share of japanese culture. democratic since the Edo-period, they have come to symbolize summer in Japan, with countless fireworks festivals drawing push of thousands. Coming in a variety of forms, they can be crafted into waterfalls or smiling faces, with many competitions held to display the latest designs .

What is Japan’s history with fireworks?

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
There are many different theories as to the beginning of fireworks in Japan, ranging from their use to ward off evil spirits to their presentation as a give to Tokugawa Ieyasu from a british King and chinese merchant. It is known that the first public fireworks display was held on the Sumida River in 1733 in memory of those who had died of starvation due to the previous year ’ s crop failure, plague and cholera outbreak. This became an annual event and is now one of the most popular in Japan. Hanabi have since become a have of summer in Japan and are associated with festivals, street food and celebration.

Another cause fireworks are so closely connected to summer in japanese acculturation is their role in the August festival of Obon. During this meter, spirits return to visit the kingdom and fireworks are used to welcome them, angstrom well as sending them back to the spiritual world, as a form of okuribi .

Hanabi Taikai: Japanese Firework Competitions

One of the most authoritative aspects of japanese firework displays is the rival chemical element. Known as ‘ hanabi taikai ’, firework competitions pit the latest designs and combinations against each other. Leading pyrotechnicians from across the state and overseas gather for these displays, meaning japanese festivals have some of the best displays in the world. This custom began when Japan ’ s master fireworks manufacturer Kagiya ( opened in 1659 ) was joined after 150 years by newly club Tamaya who began producing fireworks in 1808. The two would conflict for the title of best fireworks with audiences calling out their preferable list during the displays. While there are now many more designers involved, the beloved of contest has remained .

Different Kinds of Japanese Fireworks

As leaders in the field of firework design, Japan has a broad assortment of fireworks that can be seen at festivals and private displays. Events will carefully list the different styles and provide detailed guides of who designed them, with announcements between displays at the events. democratic designs include Starmine ( スターマイン ) which is a carefully timed combination of hundreds of fireworks and Niagara ( ナイアガラ ) which is a waterfall-like plan that inspired its name – but there are four main groups of firework in Japan, with many subcategories in each .

Warimono (割物)

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
These are the quintessential firework we know and love – bally into spherical bursts across the night flip. Whether blending colors or keeping it simpleton, they are popular across the populace. The most common varieties are the kiku ( chrysanthemum ) plan which has a central abound of color within a wide sphere and long tails, or the botan ( peony ) which has shorter tails .

Hanwarimono (半割物)

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
Hanwarimono are a combination of the spherical warimono manner ( above ) and the split-shell pokamono style ( below ), with ‘ han ’ meaning one-half. Offering the best of both worlds, these frequently combine a variety of colors. The most popular kind is the senrin ( thousand-wheel ) which features a group of smaller often brightly-colored explosions creating a patchwork of patterns .

Pokamono (ポカ物)

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
Pokamono are a slightly more chaotic firework as their shells split in two, scattering the contents across the sky. popular kinds include the Bee ( hachi ) kind which spin and pour in the flip like bees around a nest, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as a king of willow ( yanagi ) kind .

Katamono (型物)

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)

The most popular with children, katamono fireworks explode in cautiously designed patterns of smiling faces, children ’ mho characters, animals and even poke-balls. A playful invention, they are impressive in their accuracy .

Bonus type: Senko Hanabi

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
Senko Hanabi are japanese sparklers that can be held as they spark and glitter. popular with children, they are known across the worldly concern and are used to write or draw in the air. In Japan, they are a room to highlight the transeunt nature of animation due to their ephemeral clarification.

Where you can see Japanese Fireworks

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
The easiest way to see fireworks in Japan is at summer festivals. generally held between June and September, fireworks are a huge function of the summer experience in Japan. Locals and visitors will gather in their thousands to line riverbanks and beaches for evening viewings, often dressing in yukata and enjoying the food stalls ( yatai ) and fun festival atmosphere. Unlike many countries, Japan does not use fireworks to celebrate the arrival of the new year. rather, Japan has a placid border on with shrine and synagogue visits made with family and friends in the early on hours of the morning .

The Best Firework Festivals in Japan

Japan’s Amazing Hanabi (Japanese Fireworks)
There are two kinds of firework displays in Japan : one combined firework display and the competition type. The latter is popular as different pyrotechnicians will compete to show off the latest designs and creations. These are some of the biggest festivals in Japan :

Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (隅田川花火大会)

This is the most democratic firework festival in Japan, drawing crowd of up to a million lining the riverbank and surrounding streets. As the origin of public fireworks displays, it is a singular know to see and viewing spots are staked out days in advance. It is held on the last Sunday of July .

Tsuchiura All Japan Fireworks Competition (土浦全国花火競技大会)

One of the largest hanabi taikai in the area, this is an incredible evening of displays from the world ’ s exceed pyrotechnicians. It is held in Ibaraki prefecture in October – a little later than most summer festivals – but is popular however. The displays last about 2.5 hours and visitors travel from across Japan to enjoy the indicate.

Omagari All Japan Fireworks Competition (大曲全国花火競技大会)

Another huge firework contest, Omagari is held in Akita prefecture in belated August, drawing crowd of up to 750,000. Designers from across the country compete with their best creations and music pairings, forming a breathless show that lasts about two hours .

Kumano Fireworks Festival (熊野大花火大会)

Held on the beach of rural prefecture Mie, the Kumano fireworks festival has been held on August 17th for the past 300 years. It is specially well known for the display ’ s impressive reflections in the water, and besides has a competitive chemical element .

Miyajima Water Fireworks Festival (宮島水中花火大会)

Framing the celebrated floating torii-gate of Miyajima, this mid-august firework display is one of the most stunning in Japan. Held in the true laurel of the small island, it features around 5,000 shells with some launched from the water. Visitors can see the display from the shore of Miyajima a well as the mainland in Hatsukaichi City, angstrom well as from special sightseeing boats in the bay .