Niihama Taiko Festival

“Niihama Taiko Festival” is a fall festival representing Niihama City in Ehime Prefecture. It is known as one of the three major festivals of Shikoku, along with Tokushima’s “Awa Odori” and Kochi’s “Kochi Yosakoi Festival.” Massive, gorgeous parade floats called “Taikodai,” 5.5m high and 12m long, parade through the streets as the taiko drums are struck and their echoes resound. The biggest highlight is the “sashiage,” when 150 men (“Kakio”) lift a 3-ton taikodai high above their heads, in time with the conductor’s shouts and flute playing, and with encouragement from the taiko drumming. Great shouts rise up at the sight of the feat of strength, as many hearts become one. There are currently 53 taikodai in the city, of those, the one you will see today is the “Kuchiya Taikodai” owned by the Sashiage Project NPO, which works on “community development as impressive as lifting a taikodai.” Take in the sight of this magnificent, soul-stirring and gorgeous festival of men!