Known as one of the three major festivals in Hiroshima, Tokasan is the
summer festival for the god of Toka Daimyojin at Enryuji Temple, Mikawa-
cho, Hiroshima City. Since the name Tokasan can be a pun on the "10th day"
(toka) in Japanese, it is held annually June 8-10. The festival is also known as
the Yukata Festival. Yukata is a kimono of lightweight cotton, like a summer
robe. People in Hiroshima are supposed to begin wearing their yukata from this
During the three days of the festival, hundreds of street stalls with games and
snack foods appear along Chuo Dori Avenue, including popular goldfish
scooping, balloon fishing, grilled cuttlefish and more. The festival site is jammed
with children in yukata and young couples indulging in kakigori, or flavored
shaved ice. Yakuyoke uchiwa,or fan to ward off evil, is sold as a Tokasan
specialty at the festival. Participants may be reminded of bygone days by the sight
of little girls with these fans.
Today the Tokasan Festival is recognized as a seasonal event to let people
know of the arrival of summer.
The summer festival of Hiroshima, full of people wearing yukata (Photograph taken circa 1994)
The history of Tokasan dates back to when Nagaakira Asano arrived in Hiroshima from Kishu (now Wakayama Prefecture and part of Mie Prefecture) in 1619. He built Enryuji Temple at the present site. Thus, Tokasan Festival has been popular among citizens for over 370 years.
The object of worship Tokasan is the guardian of Hokke-kyo Buddhism. Toka is one of the two pronunciations for the Japanese word, which is more commonly read inari. Inari means the deity of grain.