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Mino Nagashi Niwaka

Special Characteristics

  1. It's performed by a town-wide young people's group. (The Niwaka Preservation Society)
  2. Musical accompaniment using flutes, taiko drums, and hand drums follows the Niwaka float on its course around town, stopping at several dozen designated locations to put on performances. (Nagashi Niwaka)
  3. The contents of the Niwaka are specific to that year, and every year new material is prepared. As a result, much of the performance is satirical and based on current social trends and phenomena.
  4. There are usually two-to-four performers. Performances structured as a scripted dialogue between the performers.
  5. Costumes are simple, and emphasis is placed on producing an impromptu feel.
  6. Niwaka always begins with an introduction and ends with a clever pun or punchline, called the “otoshi,” after which everyone yells “ekkyo!” together.

“Niwaka” is a popular form of entertainment that traces its roots to the late Edo Period. Originally a form of amateur theater in which actors would perform "offhand” (niwakani in Japanese), it was later given a kind of “punchline,” thus becoming a popular form of entertainment.
Niwaka became popular across Japan from the late Edo Period to the Meiji Period. Although it died out during the Taisho and Showa Periods, there are still several forms of Niwaka in existence, such as “Hakata Niwaka” and “Osaka Niwaka.”
Mino Nagashi Niwaka, which preserves its traditional format well, is a valuable popular art unlike Niwaka from any other region. To this day, it continues to be handed down as an art form that preserves the heritage of Kozuchi (present-day Mino) and demonstrates the development of popular folk entertainment in Japan.

Nationally-selected Intangible Folk Cultural Property

Date Spring: Second Saturday (and following Sunday) of April
Site Town areas, Banya
Tel +81-575-33-1122
(Industry Promotion Section, Tourism Section, City of Mino)

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