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Dogyoretsu Drum Parade

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Dogyoretsu Drum Parade


Around twenty neighborhoods parade their colorful drum floats around the castle town while performing vibrant kagura music

Matsue City


Every year on the third Sunday of October, around twenty neighborhoods parade their colorfully decorated drum floats, each loaded with two or three 1-meter wide taiko drums called “do”, around Shimane Prefecture's old castle town in Matsue, while playing vibrant, kagura-inspired music.



The performers are usually 4-people to a drum and other community members accompany them with flutes, changara cymbals and cheers. Dogyoretsu is an excellent example of a community event; each local neighborhood builds and maintains their own floats, and each float procession is led by dozens of local children in costume. All the groups are eager to get spectators to try play the drums for themselves.



Dogyoretsu officially began in 1915, but the origin of the festival, the tradition of drum parades in Matsue, is said to go back at least as far as 1607, the year construction began on Matsue Castle, where a similar performance, including taiko, flutes and changara, accompanied a portable shrine procession celebrating the new year.



In modern times, the event coincides with the Matsue Water Lantern Festival where thousands of hand-decorated paper lanterns, framed in bamboo, beautifully illuminate the grounds of Matsue Castle and its moats.



How to get there


From Yonago Kitaro Airport, take the limousine bus for 45 minutes to Matsue Station. From the station, take a bus for 10 minutes to Matsue Castle.


1 Tonomachi, Matsue-shi, Shimane-ken



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