Yama, Hoko Yatai float festivals in Japan


 Yama, Hoko, Yatai float festivals involve the collaborative efforts of the community to pray to the gods for the region’s peace and protection from natural disasters.


 Festive events


 33 Important Intangible Folk Cultural Properties designated by the Government of Japan

5.Safeguarding Measures

 Fostering successors,making records,securing raw materials,repairing and making new tools

6.Summary of Nomination

 ○The Yama, Hoko, Yatai float festivals are held annually by communities to pray to the gods for peace and protection from natural disasters. They involve the collaborative efforts of the community in their characteristic extravagantly decorated floats that reflect the diversity of local cultures.

 ○ Floats are huge constructs pulled or shouldered by members of communities. They are inhabited by the gods honored in the festivals or are meant to entertain and appease these gods. The techniques of making and repairing floats have been transmitted for centuries by craftsmen such as carpenters, lacquer artisans and dyers. Furthermore, efforts are made to preserve the natural environment when securing materials for the floats; these sustainable methods have been handed down through many generations.

 ○ Aside from the Yama, Hoko, Yatai festivals, the community is involved year-round in practicing and preparing for the performing arts and oral traditions shown at the festivals. The Yama, Hoko, Yatai festivals play an important role to foster community ties by encouraging dialogue and exchange across various generations in the community.

 ○ The inscription of the Yama, Hoko, Yatai festivals on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity will greatly contribute to measures to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in the international community by serving as an example of safeguarding and transmitting intangible cultural heritage in a sustainable way with the participation of communities.

(Office for International Cooperation in Cultural Properties, Traditional Culture Division, Cultural Properties Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs)