Hiroshima – Mihara Shinmeichi Daruma Festival

The Mihara Shinmeichi Daruma Festival is a prominent and culturally significant event held in Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. This festival is specifically known for its focus on daruma dolls, traditional Japanese talismans symbolising perseverance and good luck. It has been celebrated for centuries and is closely tied to the city’s historical Shinmeichi market, which dates back over 400 years. The centrepiece of the festival is the extensive market where visitors can purchase daruma dolls of various sizes and colours. These dolls are often painted with one eye when purchased, and the other eye is filled in once a personal goal or wish is achieved. Festival-goers can participate in workshops to paint their own daruma dolls. This interactive activity allows visitors to engage with culture and tradition more deeply.

The festival features various traditional performances, including taiko drumming, folk dances, and theatrical presentations showcasing the region’s cultural heritage. It is a community-centred event, with active involvement from local residents, businesses, and cultural organisations, and serves as a platform for local engagement and cultural expression.