Kaze No Bon Festival

Kaze No Bon:


Kaze no Bon is a Japanese festival held every year from September 1 to 3. Kaze-no-Bon literally translates to “Bon Dance of the Wind.” This is a traditional folk event to appease the wind and pray for a bountiful crop, and is held every year for three days.  It corresponds to the 210th day from the first day of spring according to the traditional Japanese calendar and is considered a day often beset by calamities when farmers are frequently struck by typhoons. This festival, having a history of about 300 years, is recently becoming a popular tourist attraction to the otherwise sparsely populated mountain area. The original festival was held in order to appease typhoons and allow for a bountiful harvest of rice.


Kaze-no-Bon originated as a “wind-subduing” ritual. Under the lunar calendar, hassaku (August 1) is when the rice ears grow heavy with grain. This date, 210 days from the traditional first day of spring in early February (risshun, midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox) , is an inauspicious day for wind, and a ritual was performed in the hope that the ears would not blow over before harvest. Obviously the ritual was the same as others across Japan, and in the festivals’ earliest years during the Genroku era (1688-1704), in Yatsuo as elsewhere it appears to have been a rather vulgar, noisy affair.

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