Traditional Festivals in Aomori : Emburi - 5
(Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan)

Originally the Dousai Emburi developed in a rural area distant from the castle town of Hachinohe meanwhile the Naga Emburi arose within the castle town. Therefore, compared with the Dousai Emburi that is showy and has no relationship of master and man among performers who are called Tayuu, the Naga Emburi has the difference between the Tokuro as the leading role of Naga Emburi and other Tayuus as the supporting role, and its slow movement which associates sword dance is said to be influenced by the sumurai culture.

They put on a Haraate like an apron and a Bussaki Baori dyed dark blue or black that is a half-length Japanese traditional coat, on a Mijika as sleeveless undergarment and long underpants. Wearing Japanese traditional socks Tabi and Tsumagos that is snow shoes knitted with straw on them, they wrap their shins with a Habaki. The above-mentioned wear is common to all Emburi, but only a hat wearing on the head, Eboshi, and the Torimono that they holds in hand show difference.

The Eboshi that a Tayuu put on symbolizes the head of an agricultural horse and is intended to call the deities who controls harvest. By putting on this hat, a Tayuu becomes a man, a horse and a deity. The remnant that this region was the horses' production center is said to be seen in this Eboshi and a Zai that each group's master holds.

A Eboshi is produced by compressing overlaid Japanese paper on the foundation made of thin wooden board or thick paper with 2 or 3 mm thickness, and weighs close to 2 kilograms. Underlaid with whitewash, a painting is painted on it. The top is bordered with the five colors Tategami where a deity was believed to dwell.

According to the commentary of the Hachinohe City Museum, the pattern of Toukuro at the larding role of the Naga Emburi shows the sun, the moon, a horse cultivating a rice field and the scenery of rice planting. On the Eboshi of the Tayuus, Nakaguro, at the middle of Naga Emburi, treasures like a mallet of luck (cornucopia), a lobster or a bream is painted meanwhile on the Eboshi of the Tayuu, Kurodome, at the end, auspicious living creatures such as a crane, a tortoise, a pine, a bamboo or a plum.

Other book also writes that, according to the order of the Tayuus, the process of agricultural work is depicted.

By the way, Kurodome means a work to solidify the bank so that water does not leak out. Even from the name of Tayuu, the origin of Emburi is imagined to be proximate to agriculture.

However, as long as I observed, the patterns that painted the process of agriculture was few while most were auspicious pattern. That would be mere popularity ? Or, that would show that the linkage between agriculture and life has weakened ? Even though the color scheme was different, similar composition was found. Those are based on the same prototype ? Otherwise, it would be the result that they had been refined as time passed ? Since a Eboshi was said to be smaller than now until the Meiji Era, it is uncertain about how much time the origin of the Eboshi pattern is going back in time. But, there is a theory that the pattern is involved with the painter of Japanese style paintings.

Besides the pattern, there are differences in the Eboshi of both Emburi. In the Naga Emburi, the Eboshi of the leading role, Tokuro, ornaments with red peony and white deutzia while the Eboshi of other Tayuus ornaments with nothing. Depending on the flower ornaments, the difference of the leading role and the others is visualized. Meanwhile, in the Dousai Embori in which all members belong to the same rank, the fact that they put on the same Eboshi and Maegami of five colors' papers hanging from the top shows the difference from the Naga Embori.

Now, a Eboshi of the Naga Emburi with white deutzia almost disappears and red peony is predominant. For the Naga Emburi which dancing is less showier than the Dousai Emburi , that would show admiration to be a spectacular existence?

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

From Tokyo to Hachinohe
by train
: 3 hours from “Tokyo Station” to “Hachinohe Station” by Shinkansen (high speed train), one service per one hour.

From “Hachinohe Station” to “downtown Hachinohe”
20 minutes by bus from “Hahinohe Station” to “Jusan-nichi-machi”, frequent service in the daytime. The site is within downtown Hachinohe near "Jusan-nichi-machi".

Hachinohe Tourist Information Website

Aomori Sightseeng Guide

Acoommodations in Hachinohe

"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)
"図説青森県の歴史" (成田稔・長谷川成一, 河出書房新社, 1991)
"郷土資料事典 青森県" (人文社, 1998)
"季刊あおもり草子第25号" (企画集団プリズム, 1985)
"えんぶり読本" (正部家種康, 伊吉書院, 1992)
"江戸時代ひとづくり風土記2青森" (農山村漁村文化協会, 1992)
"八戸市博物館 えんぶり展" (八戸市博物館, 2012)
"八戸三社大祭の歴史"(三浦忠司, 伊吉書院, 2007)
"八戸三社大祭公式ガイドブック"(八戸観光コンベンション協会, 2011)
Emburi (Hachinohe City Office)
Hachinohe Tourist Information Website

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


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Headgears in Emburi

Photo by Daigo Ishii