Location: Kakunodate-machi, Semboku City
Site(s) of performance: Shinmei Shrine, Yakushidō Temple, Satake-Kita Family’s Residence, and other places in the community
Date(s): September 7–9.Designations: State-Designated Important Intangible Folkloric Cultural Property; UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals in Japan
Category: Taiko-Furyū and Matsuri-Bayashi
From September 7 to 9, when the wind blows off the summer and time for harvest comes near, it is time for the Kakunodate Festival. It is a festival of music floats (oyama) performed for the annual festival of the Shinmei Shrine. Each district of the town prepares an oyama with a large paper statue. With musicians and dancers on them, the floats go around the town competing in beauty and gorgeousness. The marching music for the floats is generally called Oyama Bayashi (float music). The tradition of Oyama Bayashi was established in the first half of the 19th century by samurais and townsmen under the influence of Nō theater and nagauta songs. Music is played with Japanese flutes, big drums, small drums, hand drums, hand gongs, and shamisen (three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instruments).