Mt. Fuji in Japan
Fujiyoshida City of Yamanashi Prefecture
Yoshida’s Fire Festival or “Yoshida no Himatsuri,” “Chinka Taisai,” held annually from August 26 to 27, is one of the Three Weird Japanese Festivals. The festival is held at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine and Suwa Shrine every autumn. It originates from a piece of Japanese mythology about Princess Konohanasakuya (or “Konohanasakuya Hime”), the Goddess Deity revered in Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine. It is said that while pregnant, Princess Konohanasakuya was accused by her deity husband, Niniginomikoto, of adultery. To prove her innocence, she set fire to the room she was staying in, and delivered three babies in the flames. As it turned out, all of the babies survived, indicating that they were truly Niniginomikoto’s offspring. Another saying goes that people hold the Fire Festival in order to appease Mt. Fuji’s anger, keeping it from erupting.
On the night of the 26th, more than 70 3-meter high Taimatsu torches, which are tied together in the shape of a bamboo shoot, will be ignited to create a huge bonfire with the largest number of torches piled up along the Fujiyoshidaguchi climbing route. Meanwhile, huts situated along the climbing rout will light up, too, echoing the bonfire. What’s more, every household in the neighborhood will ignite their bonfire, which is piled up like a Japanese kanji, “井,” at the same time. All of a sudden, the streets become like a sea of fire, which represents the climax of the festival, and this will continue till midnight.