A fire festival where ancient myths come to life

 

Consisting of 319 “kofun” (ancient burial mounds), “Saitobaru Burial Mounds” in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture, is one of the biggest groups of its kind in Japan. The group was designated as a National Special Historic Site in 1952 and in 1969 became the country’s first historical park, namely “Saitobaru Fudoki no Oka”. These burial mounds are believed to have been built between the second half of the 4th century and the 6th century. Every year, on the first Saturday and Sunday of November, a festival called “Saito Burial Mound Festival” is held there. The festival’s concept is “Realizing the ancient in the contemporary”. A “Torchlight Procession” and “Flame Celebration” reenact ancient myths and create a magical atmosphere using fire. The festival delights spectators of all ages with “kagura” (sacred music and dance), local performance arts, and some programs allowing people to experience aspects of life of ancient times. Since “Osahozuka” and “Mesahozuka”, kofun which are rich in legends and which are usually prohibited to enter, are a venue of the festival, it is a rare opportunity to see inside their premises. The area is also known for beautiful flowers, and during the festival time three million cosmos flowers are in full bloom.

 

* This is the information as of June, 2017
 

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