Morioka Sansa Odori Festival, Iwate Prefecture

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Written by Editorial department

This year, 2019, marks the 42th anniversary of the Morioka Sansa Odori Festival! The parade is held over four days on Chuo-dori Street and is comprised of taiko drummers, flautists, singers, dancers, and floats. Sansa is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the largest ensemble of taiko drummers playing simultaneously in the world. Participants register and begin practice months in advance, but anyone can join in the wa-odori, or “dancing in a circle,” after the parade.
(The world’s largest taiko drum parade: August 4)

The origin of the Sansa Odori

It is said that long ago there was an evil demon in the area. The villagers prayed to the god of Mitsuishi Shrine to get rid of him. So the god made the demon swear that he would stop doing bad things, and, as a sign of his pledge, the demon placed his hand on a large rock, leaving his hand print behind. The locals rejoiced, dancing around the rock chanting “Sansa! Sansa!” This was the beginning of the Sansa Odori—or so goes the legend.

The large rocks of Mitsuishi Shrine
[The large rocks of Mitsuishi Shrine]

Video of Morioka Sansa Odori Festival

Basic information on Morioka Sansa Odori Festival, Iwate Prefecture

Morioka Sansa Odori Festival, Iwate Prefecture

Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture: From Chuo-dori Street 2-chome to the front of the Prefectural Office
Main Venue
Chuo-dori Street, Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture
Access to Main Venue: 15-min walk from Morioka Station
Morioka Shimin Bunka Hall (Malios), Taki no Hiroba infront of JR Morioka Station
Event Period
August 1-4, 2019
Parade Start Time
URL (English)