The enchanting fireworks that illuminate Japan's skies | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

Atami Station [Atami Sea Fireworks Festival]

  • The history of fireworks that illuminate
    Japan's skies
  • The magnificent fountain-style
    "tezutsu hand-held fireworks" are the origin of all fireworks
  • Skyrockets that bloom on a grand scale and capture in an instant the fascination of huge crowds of observers. A wide variety of skyrockets are showcased all over Japan throughout the year, and huge numbers of people look forward to the opportunity to marvel at the fireworks. The roots of these pyrotechnics lie in the Aichi Prefecture and Mikawa regions of the Sengoku period, and the tradition of "tezutsu hand-held fireworks" that has been handed down since then. They weren't originally developed in order to provide amusement as they do today, rather, they formed part of a solemn Shinto ritual that sought to ward off evil spirits and bring about rich harvests. And the style of these fireworks was truly primitive! They were quite unlike the great gunpowder balls fired high into the sky with a bang that we see at almost every fireworks festival these days. The pyrotechnicians would hold a great lit cylinder from which they released "fountain-style" fireworks that formed an intense pillar of fire raining down showers of sparks, which was quite a fantastical sight. Of course, the moment the sky was filled with sparks was one of mortal danger for the pyrotechnicians holding the fireworks. The tezutsu hand-held fireworks that are used today still subject the holder to such huge tension that they don't even notice the heat.
  • Toyohashi Station [Tezutsu hand-held fireworks]
  • The fireworks shows of Lord Ieyasu,
    great proponent of firework development
  • Once the Sengoku period had given way to the Edo period, it is said that Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa was the first to enjoy fireworks as a show, at Sunpu Castle. Sunpu Castle records of the time note how gunpowder was inserted into bamboo cylinders and ignited in so-called "tachihanabi" which resembled the tezutsu hand-held fireworks. It is not difficult to imagine the great surprise and fascination that the inquisitive Lord Ieyasu must have felt. These fireworks shows staged by Lord Ieyasu formed the impetus for Mikawa, his place of birth, to become a major center for firework production and displays. Another part of the historical background is that the Mikawa region had been a key military gunpowder production area for some time, and after the end of the Sengoku period, when demand for gunpowder declined, the explosive was diverted to use in fireworks.
    1. Toyohashi Station [Tezutsu hand-held fireworks]

updated on Aug 16, 2018

  • Sightseeing information related to this theme
  • Toyohashi Station[Tezutsu hand-held fireworks]
  • Tokyo Station, Shinagawa Station[Sumida River Fireworks Festival]
  • Kakegawa Station[Fukuroi Enshu Fireworks All Japan Fireworks Master's Invitational Competition]
  • Atami Station[Atami Sea Fireworks Festival]
  • Odawara Station[Odawara Sakawa River Fireworks Festival]
  • Shin-Osaka Station[Osaka Tenmangu Shrine Tenjin Matsuri]
  • Shizuoka Station[Shimizu Minato Matsuri]
  • Odawara Station[1261 Ashinoko Matsuri Week]
  • Gifu-Hashima Station[National Fireworks Display (Beside the Nagara River, Gifu)]
  • Mikawa-Anjo Station[DENPARK Winter Festival]