Traditional Festivals in Aomori : Tachi-Nebuta - 2
(Gosyogawara, Aomori, Japan)

Compared to the Aomori Nebuta and the Hirosaki Neputa, the Tachi-Nebuta of Goshogawara is simpler. It has no small floats. Accompanists with traditional Japanese instruments like a whistle and a bell follow a drum float and dancers tread on the heels, and behind them is a Tachi-Nebuta float. This is enough to highlight the overwhelming Tachi-Nebuta float.

It was in 1998 that the festival was revived after the old figure of a Tachi-Nebuta float had been discovered in 1993. Because of its short history compared to Aomori and Hirosaki, the flexibility is high and the dance is also diverse. Some teams jumped with one foot like the Aomori Nebula and others danced with traditional folk song style.

Among them, I was attracted to the team of Gosyogawara High School. Many students were divided into a girl group and a boy group. They continued dancing in perfect order. It was just a collective dance in a physical education class. In most of teams, the voices was getting thinner or making themselves hoarse, meanwhile the high school students made last their power until the end.

Another thing different from Aomori, Hirosaki and Hachinohe is that the electric wire in the parade route of Tachi-Nebuta was put underground. So, Nebula floats are not caught in the wire though floats are quite high. The Tachi-Nebuta float has induced the townscape of Gosyogawara. However, to be exact, the reason why the Tachi-Nebuta festival that remained until 1920’s had been abandoned was because the electric wire was stretched due to the spread of electricity. The rise and fall of the festival has been related to the townscape.

In that sense, the arcade in the central shopping area has not still overtaken the new change. The arcade is usual and the height is also similar to an arcade in any town. That doesn’t hinder the viewing of Nebuta in Aomori and HIrosaki, but, in Gosyogawara, spectators can’t see the head of Tachi-Nebuta float since it is cut at the roof of the arcade. However, the scenery that spectators looked up a float showing only their face on a roadway from a sidewalk was interesting.

At 9:00 p.m., the festival ended with a signal gun, but some of dancers began to dance crazily over again. From the middle of the festival, Yan-papa and Yan-mama (Yankee-papa and mama : young parents with motorcycle gang style ) were outstandingly active, but, at the end of the festival, their energy seemed to have exploded. It is okay to finish the festival precisely at the closing time, but it is also good to release energy for a while in order to cool down the exhilaration of the festival once a year. When I thought such thing, the jabbing started. Energy was too much released.

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

From Tokyo to Gosyogawara
by train
: 3 hours 20 minutes from “Tokyo Station” to “Shin-Aomori Station” by Shinkansen (high speed train), one service per one hour. Then, 30 minutes from “Shin-Aomori Station” to “Kawabe Station” by local train connected with Shinkansen, one service per one hour. 30 minutes by local train from "Kawabe Station" to " Gosyogarawa Station", 1 service per 1 -2 hours.

From “Gosyogawara Station” to the site
The site is within downtown Gosyogawara near Gosyogawara Station.

House of Tachi-Nebuta

Gosyogawara City Ofiice
Gosyogawara City Tourist Association

Aomori Sightseeng Guide

Accommodations in Gosyogawara

"青森県の歴史散歩" (青森県高等学校地方史研究会編, 山川出版社, 2007)

2018.01 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version

2018.06 Text in English version 

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Tachi-Nebuta in Gosyogawara

Photo by Daigo Ishii