Home Events - Exoteric Japan January in Japan Japanese Cultural Calendar First Day Ceremony for Japanese Firefighters : Dezomeshiki 出初め式
Japanese Edo era woodcut print of the first day ceremony for firefighters

Date

Jan 06 2025

Time

8:00 am - 6:00 pm

First Day Ceremony for Japanese Firefighters : Dezomeshiki 出初め式

All Hail the Firefighters!

The First Day Ceremony for Japanese Firefighters is held January 6th of every year and welcomes Japanese firefighters back onto the job. Many cities have their own variations on events, but generally the formula of an opening ceremony declaration by a notable official and flag raising followed by various fire fighting and emergency procedure events such as ladder climbing and shooting the water hose ensue. After a parade and public demonstration of safety in emergency techniques there is a lowering of the flag and a declaration that the ceremony is over. If you have a chance to see it and participate, by all means go!

A Bit Of The History Of The First Day Ceremony for Japanese Firefighters

Believe it or not, this yearly ceremony began way back in Edo; 1659 February 25 to be exact. This date was essentially January 4th according to the old Chinese calendar then in use (the fourth day of the first month of the new year). There had been a city wide fire that caused the destruction of the vast majority of old Edo and the deaths of at least tens of thousands of people. So an official municipal fire department was established. Later in the Meiji restoration the calendars were switched to the modern western calendar, but kept the same literal dates. Later during the Showa time (four years into the Showa emperor’s, aka Hirohito, new reign) in 1929 it was switched to January 6th.

References

In English
https://www.japan.travel/en/spot/373/
https://www.japan-experience.com/city-kanazawa/festival-kagatobi-dezomeshiki
In Japanese
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/出初式
https://asobii.net/79154

Picture from Wikipedia.org.


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