TECH & CULTURE
Japan in Photos – Toba Fire Festival
February 04, 2022
Toba is a coastal town in Aichi Prefecture, near the city of Nagoya. On the second Sunday in February, the Hinomatsuri, or Fire Festival is held here. Two suzumi, or giant torches 5 meters tall and weight 2 tons each, are lit in Shinmeisha Shrine (by tradition, the lighting must be done by two men whose ages are deemed unlucky according to Shinto custom). Once ignited, brave participants climb up the burning suzumi while wrapped in banners, and remove ropes and pieces of wood from the fire. According to tradition, the success of this would be a predictor of how successful the year’s harvest would be.