Summers in Japan are of course synonymous with fireworks festivals, but when a firework shoots up into the air, there's a unique chant―what is that chant, and what is its origin?
When a beautiful firework whistles into the sky, Japanese people have the custom of chanting the word "Tamaya." What is the significance of this?
"Tamaya" and "Kagiya" each refer to historical fireworks houses during the edo period. Onlookers would cheer the name of each house as they shot fireworks into the sky.
However, the Tamaya house caused a fire; ending its existance after a single generation. Even so, the Tamaya house's renowned techniques and status were so influential that people still chant its name to this very day.
"Kagiya" is often heard even now, so be sure to try shouting it!
Tokyo's largest firworks festival, the Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival, is on Saturday, July 29, starting from 7:05pm. Make the most of Asakusa and the Tokyo Skytree to enjoy it!
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