• home
  • »
  • Okawara River Fire Festival

Okawara River Fire Festival

Schedule Every year on the 16th of August|7:00 ~ 8:00 PM
Location Okawara, Kuroishi, Aomori Prefecture
Sponsor Okawara River Fire Festival Preservation Committee
Traffic Approximately 20 minutes by car from the Kuroishi Interchange
Contact information 1 Chome-187 Midorichō, Kuroishi, Aomori Prefecture 036-0383
General Incorporated Kuroishi Tourism Association
TEL 0172-52-3488 FAX 0172-53-5032

About the Okawara River Fire Festival

 During the period of the northern and southern dynasties (1336 – 92), Kousaka Takamune, a member of a powerful family in the town of Shinano, in Nagano Prefecture, sheltered the third imperial prince of the 96th emperor Go-Daigo. Later, after losing in battle, the descendants of Kousaka Takamune were forced to flee to the area of Okawara in Aomori Prefecture, where approximately 600 years ago they began to make floating lanterns as a way of consoling the spirits of those people lost in battle, as well as to pay tribute to their native land.
 On the night of the 16th, a boat made of straw that is just under 3m long, 1.5 m wide, and 3 m high at the mast, is pulled through the Nakano River, which runs through the community of Okawara. Each boat is manned by 5 – 6 young people and is vigorously pulled through several hundred meters of river water, which features large rocks to collide with, and areas of deep water into which the pullers may be plunged. Watching the festival is like observing a majestic picture scroll of flames, and will be sure to leave a strong impression on and inspire visitors.
 Each of the three boats represents a different stage of growth for the local rice, and the respective ways they burn predicts the quality of that year’s harvest. The festival is also a time to pray for the sound health of the people of the community.

Photos from the Okawara River Fire Festival

ookawara01 ookawara02