Armored knights have assembled. The noble samurai battle is commencing. The main stronghold is under siege. Have you marked your calendars to witness this annual event?
The World Samurai Summit 2016 is a two-day event set to happen on November 19 and 20, 2016 (Saturday and Sunday) at Nagakute City of Aichi Prefecture. It’s a government-run event that calls on recognized bushotai (samurai performance) groups from all over Japan. Each group is composed of bushos (army generals) and a number of jingasa (war hat-wearer) soldiers. This 2016, the organizing group decided to expand the invitation overseas – thus the World Samurai Summit.
But first, why hold the event? More importantly, why in Nagakute, Aichi?
Apart from its top-caliber animation and ancient temples, Japan is also famous for samurais – noble warriors known for their discipline and top-notch sword-wielding skills. Moreover, Aichi Prefecture is the homeland of Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu – great samurais who are considered as Japan’s “Three Great Unification Heroes.”
Over the years, Aichi raised several other notable samurais, eventually earning itself the right to be called as the “Homeland of Samurai Warriors.” As such, the annual gathering of samurai groups is organized in Aichi to somehow boost the tourism of the place while introducing their local traditions, customs, and samurai pride.
You can’t afford to get lost or get the wrong information on your way to the event so make sure you know the following:
Initial event hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Event venue: Ai Chikyuhaku Kinen Koen (EXPO 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park)
Event fee: admission is FREE but some facilities may have a charge
For additional details on admission fees and last-minute announcements, you can visit Aichi’s Official Tourism Website here.
Great Warrior Procession (Famous Samurai March)
Be awed at the sight of participants, all clad in their samurai gears as they assemble in one huge ground for the traditional, battle march ceremony! It’s your chance to get a feel of how it’s like to be at a send-off ceremony before the warriors head out to war! Here, you get to witness different groups or bushotais lined up along with their group insignia or identifying flags or symbols. See if you can guess any of them!
The Battle of Komaki-Nagakute Re-enactment
Relive the historical battle by witnessing a special dramatization by the Nihon Katchu Kassen No Kai (Armored Samurai Battle Association), overseas martial artists and several other invited guests. The presentation will be accompanied by a narration from a professional storyteller and several supporting images will be projected on a huge screen. It’s the perfect chance to get a feel of Nagakute’s pivotal combat that shaped its history!
World Samurai Grand Prix
It’s basically the equivalent of a cosplay competition. But instead of anime or gaming characters, participants of the summit, both individual and groups, wear samurai costumes ranging from heavy-armored general get-up to the lighter, more mobile front-line warrior.
For hardcore samurai fans, this is your chance to get a clearer view on the unique variety of samurai outfits featuring awesome accessories like huge, crescent headdresses to gold-plated hats and armors. Traditional weapons used by both samurais and ninjas are also a must-watch as part of the participants’ overall attires.
Knights in Armor Battle
What happens when the noble knights from the West meet the noble warriors of the East? This event provides some must-see combat demonstration from both sides. It’s also an educational resource for those learning about traditional chivalry practiced by our ancient warriors.
The discussion panel called “Samurai Talk Battle” by the author of the famous manga Sengoku is also a must-watch as it could feature important and actual words uttered by those popular samurais in Japan’s history.
If you miss the re-enactment, then this event must be on top of your list. This is where invited groups from across Japan present dances, sword fights, skits, plays, and more on stage. Anyone who is interested in the warring states of ancient Japan will learn a lot from the groups’ historical presentations.
Hands-On Samurai Experience
Why settle for being just a viewer when you can get a real-life samurai training? Yes, you read that right. In this two-day event, you’ll get the chance to experience the following:
- Tea ceremony
- Armor, knight, and ninja costume dressing
- Katana (Japanese sword) training
- Ninja games, and more
Get the best out of your two-day escapade and take photos of you wearing the traditional samurai outfit!
Samurai Culture Zone
It’s an ideal section to unwind and check out literary and artwork exhibitions relating to the samurai. The best part is, you’ll get the chance to eat some of the most delectable sweet treats, personally handed to you by members of the participating ancient military group.
For tourists who wish to bring something samurai-related to their loved ones back home, dropping by some of the booths here is a must. Here, you will have access to authentic souvenir items, good luck charms, and other stuff perfect for gifts. There will also be booths offering tourism promotion for other amusement or recreation you may want to avail while on your stay in Aichi.
From Nagoya Station, take the Higashiyama subway to Fujigaoka Station. Then, take the Linimo to Ai Chikyuhaku Kinen Koen Station. From there, you can walk for a minute to the venue.
You’re lucky if you have some friends in the city who could offer you a place to stay at for two days. However, if you’re starting from scratch, then you may want to take a quick look at Booking.com for available accommodation sites. Aichi sports several options like Japanese-style hotels and those with hot springs. Know your options and book a room in advance.
The Aichi Prefecture undeniably houses a lot of Japan’s rich tradition. From temples to ninja schools to its colorful festivals and popular tales, the place is a real haven for anyone who wishes to get a feel of ancient Japan. The World Samurai Summit 2016 is your chance to get to know better the history of Japan’s popular sword wielders. Mark your calendars and gear up!