Evolution of the Hikiyama Event of Tsuchizaki Shinmei Shrine

1620: Establishment of Tsuchizaki Shinmei Shrine
1704: Seamen donated a mikoshi (divine palanquin) to the shrine.
1705: The circulation of the mikoshi became part of the annual festival of the shrine.
1789: Tsumura Soan recorded the annual festival of Tsuchizaki Shinmei Shrine in his travel report “Snowy Road.“
Circa 1810: The annual festival of Shinmei Shrine was recorded in the book of “Rituals in Six Counties.“
1878: A British travel writer, Isabella Bird, described the Hikiyama event in her Unbeaten Tracks in Japan: Travels of a Lady in the Interior of Japan.
1881: Tsuchizaki Shinmei Shrine was accorded the status of a prefectural shrine.
1900: A Hikiyama float 21 meters high was constructed.
1901: Electricity was introduced in Tsuchizaki, which resulted in restrictions on the movements of the Hikiyama floats. The Hikiyama floats then became lower to avoid touching the electric supply wires.
1913: The tercentenary of the shrine was celebrated.
1915: The longest ever Okiyama was installed.
1931: Minato-Kouta (Tsuchizaki Port Dance Music) became very popular and a variety of new dances were invented.
1941: Tsuchizaki Port Town was merged with Akita City. The name of the port was changed to Akita Port.
1944: The annual event was cancelled due to the Pacific War.
1947: The Hikiyama event was revived, but without swords and spears on the hands of the Hikiyama dolls. The US occupation forces did not allow such decorations.
1952: A 30-meter-long Okiyama was installed in Kamado Shrine.
1980: The Urayasu-no-mai dance was performed as a religious offering by elementary school and junior high school students of the Tomae-cho district, which has become a tradition since then. The circulation of the mikoshi was ushered in by the Sarutahiko God. The Tsuchizaki Minato Bayashi Association was established.
1984: The first Hikiyama Caricature Competition was held.
1993: The Hikiyama event was designated by Akita Prefecture as an intangible folkloric cultural property.
1997: The Hikiyama event was designated by the state as an important intangible folkloric cultural property.
1999: The Hikiyama event was officially named the Tsuchizaki Port Hikiyama Festival.
2006: During the redevelopment of the Tsuchizaki Station area, the main building and the saikan building of the Tsuchizaki Shinmei Shrine were reconstructed.
2010: The National Federation of Yama, Hoko, and Yatai festivals held its assembly meeting in Tsuchizaki. Ten Hikiyama floats and a 15-meter-high restored Hikiyama float were used for demonstration.
2016: As one of the Yama, Hoko, and Yatai festivals, Tsuchizaki Shinmei Shrine Festival was inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural properties.