Pictures of All 32 Yamaboko Floats on the Parade of Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri - Part. 2/3

(This article was originally posted in Japanese at 16:35 Jul. 17, 2009)

Following our prior post showing the first ten floats in "Yamaboko Junko" parade of Kyoto's summer festival Gion Matsuri, this post will cover the next ten floats, from Aburatenjin-yama through Yamabushi-yama.

Pics after the cut!

Aburatenjin-yama(scroll down on this link for English description).

Carries torii gate.


Most of the Yamaboko floats were covered in plastic due to the rain in the morning.

The doll represents Empress Jingu, a mythical empress of the 3rd century.

Marching children.

For grade schoolers in Kyoto, the parade coincided the beginning of summer holiday this year.

Turning left at the intersection of Shijo Street and Kawaramachi Street.

Next came Kikusui-hoko.

Preparing bamboo plates with water to make it slippery for "Tsuji-Mawashi".

Impressive. Hoko floats were all quite huge.

All of the larger Hoko floats had two men riding the front, signaling with fans.

The wheels must skid sideways to change direction of the float.

Pulling on signal, like a tug of war.

The tapestry features giraffes.

Taishi-yama came next.

The doll represents Shotoku Taishi(Prince Shotoku) of the 6th century.

This float was easily maneuvered at the corner.


Led by marchers with parasols.

One parasol per a child.

Unlike most Hoko floats, Ayagasa-hoko is shaped like parasol.

Some kind of performance started.

This is called "Bo-furi Bayashi" in which a troop of musicians plays bells and drums around a demon-masked main dancer swinging a rod.

Some of the musicians looked really young.

Kind of like baton twirling.

The dancer led the way after the performance.

The float followed.


Named after Hakuga, a Chinese virtuoso of harp in the era of the Chin dynasty (265-420).

He is raising a hatchet, about to destroy his harp in desperate grief at the news of his best friend's death.

Decorated with Chinese tapestries.

Next came Niwatori-hoko.

Carrying a Chigo doll, not a real child.

The Chinese character "鶏" on their back says "Niwatori(Chicken)", the Hoko's mane.

The two guys riding the front were dancing and signaling with the fans.



Features a scene from one of Zeami's Noh chants, "Tokusa"

Side view.


It used to be called "Hana-Nusubito Yama (the flower thief's yama)".

It depicts Hirai Hosho (956-1036) stealing a branch of plum blossoms from the Imperial garden in order to please a court lady he had fallen in love with.

Yamabushi-yama, the 20th float in the parade.

Yamabushi are Japanese mountain ascetic hermits.

The doll represents a legendary Yamabushi who prevented the fall of Hokanji Temple's five-story pagoda with supernatural power.

The tapestries with exquisite embroidery were bought from China.

Our next post will cover the last 12 floats of the parade.

Related Posts:
Unique and Peculiar Food Stalls at “Yoiyama” of Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri - GIGAZINE

Videos of Yamaboko Floats in Pre-Parade Event “Yoiyama” of Kyoto’s Summer Festival Gion Matsuri - GIGAZINE

Video of whole procession in Kyoto’s ancient “Aoi Matsuri” festival - GIGAZINE


in Note,   Coverage, Posted by darkhorse_log