This weekend turned out to be a very fun weekend, as Typhoon Jongdari did not hit the Tokyo-area too hard, and everyone was able to enjoy the biggest firework festival in Tokyo, Japan! The 41st Sumidagawa (Sumida River) Firework Festival went forward on Sunday, January 29, 2018, and it was simply amazing.
You can checkout some of the amazing fireworks, as well as the firework competition in the video below. And make sure to read-on to learn more about the event!
The Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (隅田川花火大会) is an annual fireworks festival held on the Sumida River in Tokyo, Japan. The history of the Sumida River Fireworks Festival goes back to 1732, when fireworks were launched as part of festivals for the dead.
As time went on, a rivalry grew between two legendary firework makers who wanted to be in charge of the festival–the Tamaya clan and the Kagiya clan. So, in true Japanese fashion, they figured-out a way to deal with this issue peacefully. And so, a competition was born as part of the festival, to see who had the best fireworks.
The Tamaya clan dominated the competition for many years, until 1843, when they caused a fire and lost a lot of support. However, today you still hear people shouting “Tamaya” and “Kagiya” during this festival to celebrate their favorite fireworks, in honor of the two legendary houses.
Each year, over 1 million people come to celebrate this event! And this year, there was definitely plenty of people to watch the over 20,000 fireworks!
This year, there were a total of 10 Master Firework Makers that competed in the firework competition. No matter who ends-up winning the competition, the audience always gets an amazing show.
The 10 competitors, and their competition entries, were the following:
- Yuichi Niibori–Sumida’s River Light
- Katsuyoshi Saigi–“Aya Haruki”
- Okubo–Flying, flying, and turning around
- Hiroyuki Hirose–A gift from France
- Ryo Sato–Glow
- Aoki Aoki–Fireworks Mandaa
- Keji Hosoya–Emblem of Kikuhara glittering in Edo
- Yoshikazu Konno–Sumidagawa sound of frog jumping in water
- Mihoko Takahashi–Flashes of happiness
- Komatsu Tadanobu–Sumida River in the evening
Make sure to pay special attention to No. 8, because you will see plenty of frogs!
I hope you enjoy all of the fireworks, and I’ll see you next time!