It’s summertime! Japan is now in the middle of fireworks season. Every week, fireworks festival is held somewhere!
We went to one of the biggest fireworks festivals in Tokyo, Sumidagawa Hanabi Taikai, today. About 20,000 pieces of fireworks are set off and nearly a million people come to watch it.
The fireworks were awesome, but the crowd was terrible. I often wonder why there’s such a lot of people in such a small space city like Tokyo.
Phrases to praise fireworks, "Kagiya!" and "Tamaya!"
Japanese people say “Kagiya!” or “Tamaya!” when they are moved by fireworks. It’s a typical phrase to praise a beauty of fireworks. They don’t make any sense unless the phrases are used in front of fireworks. What’s these phrases?
Both KAGIYA and TAMAYA is the name of the fireworks shops in the Edo period. People praised their works by calling out their name when they enjoy fireworks.
Their works were so amazing that they were the two most popular fireworks shops in Tokyo. But Tamaya was forced to shut their business in 1843 since they caused a big fire breakout, which was the gravest crime in the Edo period. Their history ended in just one generation ,though their popularity was overwhelming.
Their business was lost, but the name “Tamaya” is yet left among Japanese people as a praising phrase.
On the other hand, Kagiya still exists and keep making people smiling and happy with their wonderful fireworks.
If you have a chance to watch Japanese fireworks, let’s enjoy it with “Tamaya!” and “Kagiya!” 🙂