About "Basara Festival"
World Cultural Heritage The Ancient Capital of Japan
In the city of Nara, a place with 1300 years of history A street dance carnival born in 1999
In 1999, just before the dawn of the 21st century, the "Basara Festival" was started with a desire to energize the city of Nara with "human brilliance." It became a midsummer tradition in which various dance troupes show dance performances and parade in elaborate costumes. Creating an extraordinary time and space within everyday life, Nara, the usually quiet ancient capital of Japan, now has a day when it is okay to make noise.
"Basara" is an aesthetic sense and trend that was popular in the Kamakura and Muromachi periods (more than 800 years ago), when the spirituality that led to "Bushido" was being established. Originally, it was a way to stand out by deliberately missing the beat in music and dance performances. The term also became known in the context of the Basara feudal lords who competed in flashy costumes and chic behavior. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word vajara, meaning vajra/diamond. The Basara Daimyo, one of the Twelve Shinsho Ritsuzo of Shin-Yakushiji Temple in Nara, also has the same etymology.
Now that we have experienced COVID-19, our theme is "Dance of Thanksgiving, Dance of Prayer.” It is not just about showing off and making noise. The "Basara Festival" started with a “formal visit” to the World Heritage sites of Todaiji Temple and the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, to give thanks for the fact that we are here "now," and to pray for the prosperity and peace of the city. Then as a "dedication performance," we put our thoughts and wishes into the performance and dedicate it to the gods and Buddha, who love the performing arts. The "Parade" takes place on Sanjo Dori and in various parts of the city. Sanjo Dori is the main street of Nara City, leading to the Kasuga Taisha Shrine.
Nara City is a World Heritage site that our ancestors carefully protected and passed down to us. There are numerous festivals and ceremonies held by shrines and temples in each season. It is our role to pass them on to the next generation. It is also our mission, as lovers of Nara, to make the "present" era shine brightly and to deliver a vibrant "future" and new "brilliance" to young people. The "Basara Festival'' brings together the brilliance of dancers, viewers, and people of the city. Visitors from all over the world will also shine together. The light, the energy, and our passion will lead into the future for a thousand years.WITH LOVE AND PRAYERS! BASARA MATSURI NARA, JAPAN