Futon Daiko – Osaka Autumn Festival
When visiting Osaka during the autumn season, be sure to check out the annual futon daiko carrying ceremony held at several autumn festivals! There are two types of ‘portable shrine’ festivals (mikoshi) that represent Osaka; the danjiri and the futon daiko. The main difference between the two is that the ‘danjiri’ is pulled on wheels while the futon daiko is carried. Both serve to welcome in the autumn season and are known throughout the country as the largest, most lively and dangerous festivals celebrated.
With the average futon daiko, measuring 4 meters high and weighing a massive 3 tons, it requires up to 60 to 70 men in order to be moved. Each district has a distinctly designed futon daiko and a signature style representing their district. The melody of horns and whistles combined with the synchronized chanting of the futon daiko song create and impressive display for onlookers.
I went to see the futon daiko on Septemeber 18th, the second day of the Mozu Hachimangu Moon Festival. The two day event showcased futon daikos of various designs that were carried through Osaka’s Sakai ward. Each day, the event began from 11am and ended around 9pm. On the first day, the miyairi, ‘enshrining’ takes place. Here, the portable shrine is paraded into Mozu Hachimangu Shrine. Once inside, they “park” the futon daiko in its designated tent. They repeat this with all 9 futon daikos and on the final day, they take the futon daiko out of the tent and back to their districts.
If you missed this lively autumn festival in September, you’re in luck because the futon daiko will be held again this weekend (October 14th – 15th) at the Hiraoka Shrine. Located in Higashi Osaka, visitors can expect the Hiraoka Matsuri to have all the same chanting and fun with much easier access since the shrine is only a 3 minute walk from Kintetsu Hiraoka Station.
For more information on the upcoming event, check the official Hiraoka Shrine website below (only available in Japanese):
Hiraoka Futon Daiko: Friday October 14th and Saturday October 15th
Friday October 14th 2:30pm – 12am
Saturday October 15th 10am – 12am