The Omuta Daijayama comes to life by the hands of the local volunteers in Honolulu
The Honolulu Daijayama is one of the highlights of the Honolulu Festival. The Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjin Kai gathered 10 volunteers to assemble the head part of the Honolulu Daijayama on Friday morning of March 13 at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Also, the Educational School Tour was held on the same day where we invited students from elementary, junior high, high school in Oahu. Those students listened intriguingly on the topic of Daijayama in front of its head.
Furthermore, the Daijama’s head is made of bamboo and paper. Originally, it will be burned up and destroyed after the festival to ward off evil spirits in Omuta City, Fukuoka where the Daijayama Summer Festival was originated. On the other hand, the Honolulu Daijayama is kept in the storage facility in Sand Island near the Honolulu International Airport. It will be used only once a year which spits fire during the Grand Parade in Waikiki. In addition, the professional assemblers of the Daijayama’s cart from Omuta City came for the final inspection during the evening. Previously, the people from Omuta City used to assemble every part but the members of the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjin Kai will be assembling the head with the local volunteers from this year. It seems like the tradition of Omuta City is steadily spreading among the locals of Hawaii starting from learning how to assemble.
The practice session with the local volunteers for the parade was done is a serious manner
During the afternoon of Saturday, March 14, we heard the sound of the taiko drums coming from the Hawaii Convention Center. There we saw the members of the Omuta Daijayama from Japan, which they were teaching how to play the taiko drum and bell to the local volunteers to prepare for the parade. In addition, they taught carefully without language barriers and the local volunteers were listening attentively as they learned about Daijayama. There were a few children from Omuta City during the practice session as a great instructor for the locals even though are still young.
Let’s not forget about the “Onnna Mikoshi”. Originally, the Daijayama Summer Festival was a festival for men only. Hence, the women were forbidden to touch or get on the carts. Therefore, they danced around them as the “Onna Mikoshi” to excite the festival which played an important role. In addition, they boosted the Honolulu Daijayama as well. This year, they were shouting vigorously and dancing with a folding fan as if they are supporting the carts that are controlled by men. Their dancing performance was powerful but moderate which had a strong presence in the Grand Parade.
Assembling of the Daijayama’s cart is extensive which requires delicate hands
The Daijayama’s cart was assembled near Kalakaua Avenue, where the Grand Parade will be held on the final day of the Honolulu Festival.
The 20 members of the Omuta Daijayama from Fukuoka Prefecture visited Hawaii to help assemble the cart of the Honolulu Daijayama with the members of the Hawaii Fukuoka Kenjin Kai and local volunteers. All of them participated in the parade as well.
The cart is difficult to assemble into a proper shape, if there is any space or misalignment, which requires fine adjustment by pushing, pulling and tapping the pieces after each of them is assembled. The passersby stopped to see the Honolulu Daijayama’s large cart which they looked intrigued.
The Honolulu Daijayama is obviously the best choice for the finale of the Grand Parade!
The Honolulu Daijayama will be appearing for the finale of the Grand Parade. This year, it appeared with the Chibikko Daijayama which is a small version of the original size. The gigantic cart of the Honolulu Daijayama weighs over 2 ton. The spectators were excited and thrilled as they heard sound of the ringing bells gets nearer and louder. In addition, the fireworks were sparking brightly from the cart as it appeared through the scattering smoke. The spectators gave a big round of applause and the Grand Parade has reached its climax.
Furthermore, the 15th Annual Honolulu Festival came to an end as the flame from Daijayama slowly disappeared.
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