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How can we tell apart Hoko, Yama and Yatai in the Yamahoko parade of Gion Matsuri festival?

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Introduction 概説

 

鶏鉾岩戸山

In Yamahoko parade of Gion Matsuri festival, we can find 35 Yamahoko floats. We have three kinds of them: Hoko, Yama, and Yatai.

Some say that we can tell apart them with what is on their roofs but it’s not enough to tell the difference.

In this article, I’ll show you the right way

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Kinds of Yamahoko floats 山鉾の種類

Hoko and Yama

  • Hoko 鉾・・・Hoko 鉾、(Kasahoko 傘鉾), and Funehoko (Yatai) 船鉾(屋台)
  • Yama 山・・・Kakiyama 舁山, Hikiyama 曳山, and Yatai 屋台

There are two kinds of Yamahoko floats depending on the names they have: Hoko and Yama. Actually, each one of them is called __hoko or __yama.

They are classified with three types: Hoko, Yama, and Yatai.

Hokoconsists of Hoko and Kasahoko, the primitive form of Hoko.
Yama consists of Hikiyama and Kakiyama, the primitive form of Hikiyama.
Yatai consists of Yatai and Funehoko.

Hoko has three kinds of types depending their appearance. Kasahoko is a primitive form of Hoko. Funehoko is Yatai though they are called Hoko.

Yama also has three types. Hikiyama is developed Kakiyama.

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How can we distinguish them? 区別の仕方

Three features

  1. Shingi or Shinmatsu
  2. Wheels
  3. Ohayashi musicians

 

1.Shingi or Shinmatsu? 真木/真松の有無

 

 

函谷鉾山鉾の骨組み

First, find Shingi or Shinmatsu. Hoko has a rod called Shingi (真木) on the roof. It reaches the bottom of the body and has an ornament at the top of it.

長刀鉾の長刀

For example, Naginatahoko has a replica of Naginata sword.

In addition to it, Shingi has Sakaki leaves.

鯉山

On the other hand, Yama has a Shinmatsu instead. Shinmatsu is a pine tree. This is Kakiyama named Koiyama. Kakiyama is a basic Yama and some of them were developed into Hikiyama.

岩戸山

The one in the photo is a Hikiyama named Iwatoyama. As discussed about later, Yama has no wheels but Hikiyama has them as an exception.

Hikiyama resembles Hoko in appearance but we can tell the difference with Shingi or Shinmatsu.

七里ヶ浜親方
七里ヶ浜親方

Lots of people confused because they look nearly the same!

2.Wheels 車輪の有無

Hoko has four big wheels and people tug it.

役行者山

On the other hand, Yama is carried by people as Mikoshi.

(Today, Yama has small wheels actually.)

南観音山

As an exception, Hikiyama also has wheels.

 

3.Ohayashi musician 囃子方の有無

長刀鉾の祇園囃子

Hoko has Ohayashi musicians on it. Ohayashi is a kind of music played in many Matsuri.

 

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How can we define Yatai? 屋台

橋弁慶山

Yatai has no Shingi or Shinmatsu. Hasibenkeiyama has no Shinmatsu though it is called Hashibenkeyama.

Funehoko also has no Shingi though it is called Funehoko.

シカさん
シカさん

I have something to tell you!

Today, Fune hoko has no Shingi but it might have had it.

Clikc here. It is a replica of Tsukinamisaireizu Byobu holding screen painted in the 19th century.  It reports the Gion Matsuri in the 15th century and Funehoko has a Shingi. This is the only thing describes the Shingi of Funehoko. Funehoko in other pictures has no Shingi and documents doesn’t tell us how it looked like exactly.

にゃんこ先生

It remains a secret…だニャー



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