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Matthew Haswell | profile | all galleries >> Japan 日本 >> Japanese Festivals 日本の祭り >> Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri 弘前ねぷた祭 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri 青森ねぶた祭 | Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri 弘前ねぷた祭 | Goshogawara Tachineputa Matsuri 五所川原立佞武多 | Akita Kantō Matsuri 秋田竿燈祭 | Nagoya Matsuri 名古屋祭り | Hirokōji Natsu Matsuri in Nagoya 広小路夏祭り | Arimatsu Shibori Matsuri 有松絞り祭 | Hime-no-miya Matsuri in Inuyama 犬山の姫の宮祭り | Hōnen Matsuri in Komaki 小牧の豊年祭 | Ichinomiya Tanabata Matsuri 一宮七夕祭り | Hikone-jō Matsuri 彦根城祭り | Tottori Shan Shan Matsuri 鳥取しゃんしゃん祭 | Hirado Jangara Matsuri 平戸ジャンガラ祭 | Naha Matsuri 那覇祭り

Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri 弘前ねぷた祭

The principal festival of Aomori-ken's historic castle town of Hirosaki, the Neputa Matsuri is held every August, roughly corresponding to the dates of Aomori's more famous Nebuta. Unlike the grand papier-maché Nebuta displays that stretch nearly the width of a street, Hirosaki's Neputa floats take on the appearance of traditional uchiwa, or paper fans. Each float depicts a fierce and bloody facing image of samurai warriors in battle, with the reverse showing a more tranquil scene - the former meant for enemies, the latter for the outbound army.
Neputa float on its way to the staging point
Neputa float on its way to the staging point
Front loader pulling a neputa float
Front loader pulling a neputa float
Start of the evening's festivities
Start of the evening's festivities
Onward comes the procession
Onward comes the procession
Gigantic taiko
Gigantic taiko
Neputa float and trio of attendants
Neputa float and trio of attendants
Neputa float with demon and maiden
Neputa float with demon and maiden
Japanese carp float
Japanese carp float
Battle scene on another neputa float
Battle scene on another neputa float
Peaceful rear image of a neputa float
Peaceful rear image of a neputa float
Float with scene of samurai at war
Float with scene of samurai at war
Another giant taiko
Another giant taiko
Papier-maché horse and portable shrine float
Papier-maché horse and portable shrine float
Less violent neputa float
Less violent neputa float
Three-dimensional battle float
Three-dimensional battle float
Group of four samurai warriors on a float
Group of four samurai warriors on a float
Leading float from a parade sub-group
Leading float from a parade sub-group
Buddhist manji on neputa float
Buddhist manji on neputa float
Tranquil rear image on a float
Tranquil rear image on a float
Attendants atop a neputa float
Attendants atop a neputa float
Pulling along another fan-float
Pulling along another fan-float
Peaceful rear scene with sakura
Peaceful rear scene with sakura
Pair of neputa coming down the procession
Pair of neputa coming down the procession
Large neputa float in the intersection
Large neputa float in the intersection
Guiding on the float
Guiding on the float
Taking a breather
Taking a breather
Taiko with neputa dragon
Taiko with neputa dragon
Group of local men pushing a float
Group of local men pushing a float
Detailed oncoming float
Detailed oncoming float
Rear image of samurai and baby
Rear image of samurai and baby
Another leading sub-group float
Another leading sub-group float
Front of a neputa float with battle scene
Front of a neputa float with battle scene
Group of taiko drummers
Group of taiko drummers
Missile float
Missile float
Unlit neputa float
Unlit neputa float
Kids with Pokemon signs
Kids with Pokemon signs
Serpent float and oncoming neputa fan
Serpent float and oncoming neputa fan
Large neputa float crossing the zebra lines
Large neputa float crossing the zebra lines
Multi-armed beast on a three-dimensional float
Multi-armed beast on a three-dimensional float
Dragging onward another large float
Dragging onward another large float
Demon-warrior on another neputa float
Demon-warrior on another neputa float
Highly-detailed three-dimensional float
Highly-detailed three-dimensional float
Large koi float
Large koi float
Cooling off the crowd with a giant fan
Cooling off the crowd with a giant fan
Buddha atop samurai and demon images
Buddha atop samurai and demon images
Turning a float around
Turning a float around
Kids pulling a float onwards
Kids pulling a float onwards
Leading on a demon float
Leading on a demon float