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News from KANAZAWA

2017.01.08 Kanazawa Firemen’s (Kaga tobi) Dezomeshiki Performances

‘Dezomeshiki’, Kanazawa’s annual event to demonstrate Kanazawa firemen’s traditional skills and enthusiasm will be held this coming January. ‘Dezomeshiki’ is the first exercise of firemen in the year, and it is one of the long-waited pleasures of the citizens of Kanazawa.
Its highlights are ‘Kaga Tobi’ (Kaga feudal firemen) demonstrations of traditional ladder-top acrobatics using ladders and simultaneous spurting hoses in their barely-clothed state by city-run fire brigades. The demonstrations performed in beauty and dynamism by 1,100 firemen in front of the Hishiyagura (diamond-shaped turret) in Kanazawa Castle Park is overwhelming.
‘Kaga Tobi’ was organized in the early 18th century as a group of the firemen who were assigned for protecting from fire the Edo mansion (currently used as Tokyo University campus) of the Maeda family, who ruled Kaga domain (present Ishikawa Prefecture), and their skills are now taken over by the Kanazawa firemen.
The ladder-top acrobatics originated in the Edo period by the Kaga feudal firemen to check a fire, wind direction and circumstances on the top of a high ladder set up on the spot. (The duty of the firefighters in those days was destroying adjoining houses in order to prevent the spread of fire.) ‘Kaga Tobi’ were the very first firemen in Japan who used the ladder for this purpose.
Take a look at the ‘Kaga Tobi’ ladder-top acrobatics demonstration of the brave and traditional skills which will soon take place in the Kanazawa Castle Park, where had been the headquarters of the Maeda clan for many generations.
As it often snows or rains in January in Kanazawa, you are suggested to wear warmly and mind your step when you visit the park to enjoy the demonstrations.
Time & date: 10:00 to 11:00 am, Sunday, January 8, 2017
Place: Shinmaru square, Kanazawa Castle Park
Admission: Free