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Dezomeshiki: the march of firemen!

In a few days, like every Jan. 6, Tokyo’s firemen organize a New Year’s parade to wish for a quiet and safe year, without fires. The event starts with a prayer at Ueno Toshogu shrine before the firemen’s acrobatics.

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Tokyo has suffered many devastating fires that burned down whole parts of the city. It is one of those fire – Meireki no Taika’s which reduced the city to ashes in 1657 – that led to the creation of the first real firemen squad, Jobikeshi. 


There are such parades as the one in Tokyo everywhere in Japan, but this is the biggest and most famous one with about a hundred trucks and helicopters, and big demonstrations of fighting against fire and other catastrophes.

Acrobatics demos has been the highlight of the event for two centuries now. Firemen in Edo costumes perform acrobatics on bamboo ladders carried by their colleagues. Those bamboo ladders remind of the time when firemen had to climb onto the roofs the houses surrounding the fire to break them down and prevent the fire to spread.

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  • Culture & traditions
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