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A Message from the Governor

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知事からの挨拶

“When the tide fills the Wakanoura Bay, you can see the reeds moving and hear the cranes calling” Wakanorua, famous for its setting in Yamabe no Akahito’s poetry in the Man’yoshu (Japan’s oldest anthology of poems), is a place of picturesque scenery where many people have visited from long ago and is now registered as a location of scenic beauty designated by the national government.
 Wakamatsuri is the most important festival of the Kishu Toshogu Shrine which was established in Wakanoura by the first lord of the Kishu Tokugawa clan (one of the three major families of Tokugawa), Tokugawa Yorinobu to enshrine his father, Tokugawa Ieyasu. This magnificent festival was known as one of Japan’s great festivals, and has attracted visitors from all over the world .

 Wakamatsuri which began in 1621, a year after the Kishu Toshogu was established, has been passed on for nearly 400 years – even while experiencing interruptions caused by wars, etc. – maintaining its organization of its ancient celebration. Starting with the Mikoshi Oroshi which a portable shrine as heavy as around 1 ton is carried down 108 steep stone steps of the Kishu Toshogu (also known as the Samuraizaka), the parade of saika odori, naginatafuri, taiko drums and other performances prepared by nearly 1,000 people are all very lively and beautiful.
 Although we say seeing is believing, I would like everyone who has visited this page to visit this festival and experience the atmosphere of the Wakamatsuri directly, as well as enjoying the magnificent Kishu Toshogu known as the Nikko in the West and the refined beauty of Wakanoura.

 Wakayama Prefecture has established its Tourism Promotion Regulations in 2010 and is now working on improving the attractiveness of the prefecture as well as the hospitality for our visitors.
 I would like to express my respect and appreciation to the Wakamatsuri Organization Committee, the Wakamatsuri Preservation Committee, as well as the people of the local community who have helped to organize this festival today, and I hope for this festival to flourish as an event that represents the Wakayama Prefecture, engaging to promote tourism.

March 2013 Governer of Wakayama Prefecture Yoshinobu Nisaka

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