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 The Wakamatsuri started in 1622, during the 8th year of the Genna during the Edo period. Possibly because it started shortly after the period of warring states had ended, there are parts of the parade which resemble the period and are different from other festivals.
 The people of Kishu have taken great pride in and passed on this festival on to others – a festival like no other. This festival also presents the pride which the people of Wakayama take to preserve and to pass on this traditional festival to future generations.
On the day of the festival, the parade demonstrated the bravery of the Kishu, and the spirit of the people of Kishu on land, and on water, osekifune (sea vessels) were seen. The festival took place on both land and water. It was once known as one of the Three Great Festivals of Japan and the Grand Festival of Kishu province. Currently the sea vessels are not used as the development of infrastructure has replaced them and only the parade on land remains.
 At the beginning, the makeup of the festival was mainly focused on the Kishu Tokugawa clan, each artistic skill in the line consists of kabu organizations, with each artistic style as its own independent type. Those collected kabu in combination formed the parade, and the local people followed and performed their acts as on that day normal formalities and rules do not apply. Each kabu has been inherited by each family member, with honor, the techniques has been passed by word of mouth for generations.

Now, there are kabu which are about to fade away and be lost as the world changes and we move away from the era of the warriors. Another reason causing this is the diversity of the people which the tradition is being passed on to.
 However, we cannot overlook the fact that with the support of the thoughtful people and those supporting the local economy, there is a movement to bring this ritual back to its original state as one of Wakayama Prefecture’s biggest events of the year which we cannot afford to lose.
 We have high expectations of those who will bear Kishu’s next generation to succeed this traditional ceremony which our parents and ancestors have left for us.

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