The city of Kanazawa's Tatemachi Street is already a renowned shopping district and sightseeing area for travelers both foreign and domestic, but it's now set to get a big boost with a project called Japanese Monster darts in Kanazawa Tatemachi street, an effort that will use the charm of a traditional Japanese ozashiki game to liven up the area. While the beauty of Kanazawa's traditional craft shops and gardens are criminally under-explored (relative to other famous sites, that is), perhaps the Japanese Monster Darts in Kanazawa Tatemachi street project, which will create a Godzilla-sized version of the game for all to see, will open some more eyes.


If you were to come across a person gracefully guiding a fan through the air, you may think you're watching an elegant ceremony, but in reality that would be Tosenkyo. It's a traditional fan-tossing game, comparable to darts, from early Japan where the player attempts to knock over a target with a Japanese folding fan. It is rumored to have been invented by a gentleman in Kyoto named Toraku Sanjin who was trying get rid of a butterfly who was bothering him on a sleepless night. Here's a quick example of the game being played in action.

The elegant indoor game has at least 250 years of history, and is scored based on the way the fan and target land, with a points system that references literary classic The Tale of the Genji. Those lucky enough to be in Kanazawa on November 5th can witness the game in a massive display and collaborative event with the Tatemachi shopping district. Home to roughly 200 specialty shops that show off the local flavor and craftsmanship of Kanazawa, visitors can explore the traditional arts of Japan still kept alive today. Tatemachi also provides quick access to Kenroku-en, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, the Higashi Chaya District and Myoryuji Temple, which is commonly known as the "Ninja Temple."


But what's really elevating the event to such noteworthy status is that Professor Okamoto from the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and his students will be designing a special 2-meter tall fan to create a giant game of Tosenkyo, and are enlisting the help of traveling artist Olesya. Olesya, born in Maikain, now runs a creative studio in New Orleans and brings her personality as a traveling artist to her art by treating her paintings as colorful journeys. Not only will this fan be the largest of its type, but will definitely have a unique look, as she's coming to Japan to personally paint it.

The giant fan, designed by Okamoto and painted by Olesya, will be displayed in Tatemachi as part of the event.


In order to house international travelers the city is appealing to, a lodging called the Kaname Hostel and Bar is set to open up, giving guests easy access to the charming shopping district. The hostel offers a variety of lodging options, English-speaking staff, and free wi-fi (also throughout the whole shopping district), and free breakfast, as well as a cozy bar space where guests can enjoy drinks, American Southern-styled soul food, and the performance of local musicians and DJs.


While the city of Kanazawa has a multitude of gorgeous sights and longstanding culture to get lost in fascination with, Tatemachi is as good a place to start as any, as it is soon looking to transform into a hub for both traditional and modern riches for lucky travelers. With the large and colorful Japanese Monster Darts in Kanazawa Tatemachi project, backpackers and travelers are sure to find a modern display of Japanese culture.

You can follow progress and updates on the event on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the official website.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.

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Tosenkyo - How to Play Traditional Japanese Fan-Tossing Game
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