Where One Piece Smashes Into Japanese Religion

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

During typical Shinto festivals, you expect to see gods like Ebisu. You don't expect to see One Piece characters smashing into each other. Then again, this isn't your typical Shinto festival.

Picture: 針道のあばれ山車

Here, you can see a festival float (山車 or dashi) with Ebisu holding a sea-bream.

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

Picture: yae-mottoshiritai

This is the kind of imagery that often appears. But at the Harimichi Abare Dashi (Riotous Float Festival) in the city of Nihonmatsu, you see can see anime and video game characters year after year in early October... crash into each other.

For goodness' sake, this festival isn't only about One Piece! Characters from Naruto, Gundam, Yokai Watch, Frozen and more have gotten their own floats. (One Piece, though, seems pretty popular.)

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

Picture: Minkara

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

Picture: Minkara

The inclusion of anime and games is not recent. These types of characters have been appearing at this festival for decades. The festival itself, however, began in 1758.

And, yes, there is smashing.

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

Picture: 針道のあばれ山車

Which looks rather dangerous, seeing how there are people inside the floats playing instruments and riding on top.

Often in Shintoism, the point of festivals is to entertain the kami (deities) to ensure a good harvest or to show gratitude. But this one is rather unusual.

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

Picture: Minkara

This festival originally featured dancing like you typically see at these types of events, but as Daily Portal Z reports, apparently it started raining at one festival long ago, and a float accidentally smashed into another one. And that is supposedly how this practice, which marks the harvest, started. (Daily Portal Z heard this story from an old lady at a food stall, so your mileage may vary!)

But what about the anime characters? Dashi can also feature characters from folklore (like Kintaro), so in the regards, including modern day folklore heroes makes sense. As traditional as Shintoism might seem, it can often move in highly untraditional and modern ways. For example, I once had a Shinto priest bless my cell phone. I've also had cars I've owned blessed.

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

Picture: nihonmatsu

Usually, there are around four or five anime or game floats each year. Below you can see photos of the festival from the event's official Facebook from over the years. Check the link for many more festival pics.

Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion
Where One Piece Smashes into Japanese Religion

If you happen to be in Nihonmatsu during October, the festival looks like quite an experience.

針道のあばれ山車 [Facebook]


Comments

    My favourite festival was the one where I rode a 9 foot long penis carved from an entire tree.

    Am I the only one thinking the power lines are awfully close in some of those pics?

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