Festivals of War

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There are various festivals in Japan that turn past wars into contemporary tourist events, albeit often with quite a sombre commemorative angle, too. I discussed two such festivals in Chapter 10 of War as Entertainment and Contents Tourism in Japan.

However, another particularly well known one is in Nagaoka, where I lived from 1998-2001. The warriors’ parade commemorates the destruction of the city in 1868 during the Boshin War, and the nationally famous fireworks festival commemorates the air raid that destroyed the city again on 1 August 1945.

Around Japan there are many festivals commemorating samurai history such as the one in Matsue (see video below). However, such events are usually about wars that are a “safe distance” into the past, namely well over a century ago.

Matsue Warriors’ Parade 2017

Modern wars are usually not commemorated in this way. However, Chapter 20 of War as Entertainment and Contents Tourism in Japan discusses how such reticence to have festivals connected to modern wars might be changing …

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