The following list features matsuri (festivals) in Japan that might be of interest to English-speaking individuals interested in taiko performance. This is not a complete list, as that would be rather difficult to compile. Rather, this list includes matsuri that feature either drumming by itself or drumming as a part of matsuri-bayashi (festival music) that would be interest to someone wanting to learn more about taiko performance.
Right now, this is simply a list organized by month and location; each entry includes the name of the matsuri, its location, and the date(s). However, we are currently working to develop a matsuri database, with individual entries for each festival found in this list. These entries will include relevant links, pictures, video, and more.
This database has been compiled thanks in part to the assistance of Ai Matsuda of the Taiko Community Alliance’s Program Committee, and employees of Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten in Tokyo. Thank you for your assistance!
- Sanja Matsuri; Asakusa Jinja, Asakusa; Third weekend in May
- Kanda Matsuri; Kanda Myojin, Chiyoda-ku; Third weekend in May
- Yushima Tenman-gu Grand Matsuri; Yushima Tenman-gu, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku; Fourth weekend in May
- Hanazono Shrine Grand Matsuri; Hanazono Shrine, Shinjuku; Last weekend in May
- Kita-no Tenno-sai; Shinagawa Shrine, Shinagawa; First weekend in June
- Torigoe Matsuri; Torigoe Shrine, Taiko; First weekend in June
- Suga Shrine Grand Matsuri; Suga Shrine, Suga, Shinjuku; First Sunday in June
- Sanno Matsuri; Hie Jinja, Chiyoda; Middle of June
- Narita Gion Matsuri; Naritasan Shinshoji, Narita; First weekend in July
- Sawara Summer Grand Matsuri; Katori; Second weekend in July
- Nafune Taisai; Nafune, Wajima, Ishikawa
- Gozu Tenno Matsuri; Tsushima, Miyake-jima; Last weekend in July
- Tsukiji Honganji Bon Odori; Tsukiji Honganji, Tsukiji, Chuo; Last weekend in July
- Obon; Throughout Japan; August
- Hachioji Summer Matsuri; Hachioji; First weekend in August
- Fukugawa Matsuri; Tomioka Hachimangu, Koto; Second weekend in August
- Nippori Suwa Shrine Grand Matsuri; Nippori Suwa Shrine, Nippori; Second to last weekend in August