The Fukagawa Hachiman Festival started 400 years ago, in 1641, during the Edo period. It first started to honor the god Hachiman and also to celebrate the birth of Tokugawa letsuna, who later became the fourth shogun of Tokugawa shonugate. Although the first Hachiman Festival happened on March 2nd, it happens annually around mid-August, on August 15 or 3 days before/after the 15th. Until now, the festival has been one of the three greatest festivals in Tokyo from the Edo period. The Festival gets extremely crowded normally, but especially during its “hon matsuri” year, which occurs every three years. This year, 2017 is a “hon matsuri” year. The festival starts at the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine aka Fukagawa Shrine and surrounds the Fukagawa Area. People carry mikoshi, which is a portabale shrine, and others throw water onto the mikoshi. This gave the festival its nickname, Mizukake Matsuri, or throwing water festival. Each year, 54 mikoshi teams parade together along with dancers and musicians. The crowd throws water at the mikoshi to refresh the gods inside the shrine and also the carriers since it is hot in August.
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