Kunchi festival

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The annual Kunchi festival, celebrated in Nagasaki since 1634, features a parade referencing the great maritime history of the city. Parade floats take the form of Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese ships, and make their way through the city to Suwa Shrine, the route changing on a seven-year cycle as each neighborhood gets its turn.

The parade also involves fireworks, songs, prayers, and chants, lanterns, drums, dragon dances, and fanciful "European" costume. Among the many boat-shaped floats, one features a child dressed as the son of shuinsen merchant Araki Sotaro and his Vietnamese wife.


  • Matt Matsuda, Pacific Worlds, University of Cambridge Press (2012), 88-89.