Between July and September, there are firework displays in cities, towns and villages all over Japan. Fireworks (花火, Hanabi) have a long history in Japan and are an integral part of Japanese summers. Hundreds of firework shows are held every year across the country, with some of them drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators.
The Japanese considered fireworks (hanabi) as “flowers of fire” – brilliant bursts in various forms and colors of poignant beauty. Like the splendid cherry blossoms’ brief existence, fireworks flash in all their pomp and glory for a fleeting moment only to vanish into thin air. Since fireworks displays have become such popular events, it’s common to see many people strolling in yukatas (cotton kimonos), drinking cold beer and carrying uchiwas (round-shaped fans) – everyone from the neighborhood turned up for the festivity on muggy summer nights.
With the public’s obsession with fireworks, it’s not surprising that Japanese fireworks have evolved into an art of its own. The Japanese created the fabulous design of a three-dimensional global dispersion that resembles a chrysanthemum, one of the most elegant presentations in pyrotechnics. The firework shell is globular packed with several layers of different colors of powder to alter the hue of illumination while burning in the air. When the casing explodes, each star uniformly positioned around the core is strewn into space in equal distance from the center of the blast.
Fireworks with the state-of-the-art techniques are grabbing much attention nationwide. The special effects of starmine, a succession of launches for speed and rhythm, or the water-born fireworks, a fountain spraying out a shower of sparks, have added a new dimension to the art of pyrotechnics. Even more astounding, the daylight fireworks streak through the cloudless blue sky like lightning bolts in Technicolor. The popularity of creative firework designs has inspired replications of computer graphic designs of swirls and lines, as well as fueled patterns of familiar figures in an assortment of colors, such as, a butterfly, snail, hat, fish, and even a smiley face.
There is a contest of fireworks that we can see how amazing each firework is.
Below are the most famous fireworks in Tokyo area which I highly recommend if you want to come and see.
Sumida River Fireworks – July 28, 2012, which are recognized as one of the oldest and most famous firework displays in Japan
Tokyo Bay Fireworks – August 11, 2012, which are held north of the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo Bay. They feature about 12,000 shells launched from barges anchored in the water.
Almost every week, there is a firework somewhere in Japan during the summer. No matter which fireworks display you go, you will see tens of thousands of people, many dressed Yukata.