Miniature, Ornate Wooden ‘Danjiri’ Floats Carved Entirely by Hand

One of Japan’s most-rowdiest festivals is the Kishiwada Danjiri Festival, which takes place in Osaka during the month of September. The 300-year old festival features thirty four large, elaborate floats known as danjiri. Each float represents a different neighborhood and teams of hundreds compete to pull their floats at high speeds through the narrow streets of Kishiwada.

But for one individual, spectating the event was not enough. Armed with carving tools, they are on a mission to carve miniature replicas of every single danjiri.

One thing you might not know about danjiri is that each are unique in their own special way. They often feature intricate and ornate decorations and carvings that tell the story of ancient folklore or battles.

Known only by their nom de plume, Orihirodo is an a mission to carve all thirty four danjiri at a 1/20 scale. Explaining where the motivation comes from for such a daunting task, Orihirodo says that because the floats are raced at high speeds, often resulting in accidents and collisions, their intricate decorations and carvings are overlooked. By painstakingly replicating each danjiri in miniature, Orihirodo hopes to shine a light on the craftsmanship involved in each float.

We’ve presented here a small selection of the miniatures but you can keep up with Orihirodo either on Twitter or their blog where photos and descriptions are categorized by float. So far it looks like eleven of the thirty four have been completed.

the Numacho danjiri

the Numacho danjiri (roof)

the Numacho danjiri (close-up)

the Nakakitacho danjiri

the Nakakitacho danjiri (side view)

the Nakakitacho danjiri (rear view)

miniature carving depicting the Battle of Shizugatake

miniature carving depicting the Battle of Shizugatake

miniature carving depicting the Battle of Shizugatake

1 Comment

  1. Modelmaking as historical record. It has itself, an important history -and I love to see it!

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