Made to order, miniature Danjiri Matsuri (float festival) float, 1/10 scale, approximately 37 cm (14.5"), 3 kg (6.6 pounds), made from rose wood and zelkova tree. This is a jewel work of Miya Daiku (shrine carpenters) and carvers.
The Danjiri Matsuri, (float festival) is said to have its origin in the "Inari Matsuri," held in the 16th year of the Genroku-era (1703).
Hiki-dashi (opening pull): The opening of the Danjiri Matsuri with high spirits and speed. Danjiris in tow, all 34 danjiri teams begin a mad dash around the streets of Kishiwada at the sound of the siren at 6:00 A.M.
Yari-mawashi (corner turning): Working both front and rear levers in unison, danjiri teams literally skid their heavy floats around each street corner. Done quickly to the beat of drums and shouts of the pulling team, corner turning is one of the most dramatic elements of the festival.
Daiku-gata (carpenters): The privilege and risk of dancing upon the upper roof of each danjiri belong to Kishiwada's local carpenters. The most visible member of the danjiri team, each daiku-gata creates his own style of performance. "Hikoki-nori" (the airplane dance), performed with arms spread wide and standing on one foot, is particularly famous.
Horimono (wood carvings): Each of the massive floats is adorned with a number of intricate woodcarvings. The carvings depict celebrated battles and records of war in ancient Japan.
Miya-iri (shrine entering): On the morning of the 2nd day, the 34 floats divide into three groups and go to worship at the three major Shinto Shrines in Kishiwada.
Hi-iri Ei-ko (parade of lantern-lit danjiris): In the evenings, brilliant sails of red lanterns are affixed to each of the floats, and they begin a slow procession along the main parade route. As the pace becomes leisurely, the bright lanterns and costumes the rhythmic drums and chants, blend with the sounds and smells of the night venders to produce a wonderfully different experience-an evening festival.
Each float is hand-made, entirely of zelkova wood. It weighs about 4 tons, is 3.8 meters high, 4 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. The draw-rope is from 100 to 200 meters in length and is pulled by as many as 500 to 1000 people.