Film info

Creator / Collector

Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu is an annual autumn festival that takes place at the Hakone-Yumoto Onsen resort. The festival is held every year on November 3 which is a national holiday in Japan called Bunka no Hi (culture day).

Up to 1935, the parade included only of Daimyo himself, his Samurai soldiers, Yakko (his non-samurai workers), and Kumosuke (the local workers hired temporarily). From 1935 till today the parade has been changed compared to the previous. Female presence was added, Geishas, and more commercial and attractive elements such as weapons, to attract tourists.

The main focus of the festival is the representation of the feudal lord's procession, a system of alternate attendance (sankin kotai) introduced by Tokugawa Ieyasu when he became Shogunate or Governor of the state with the purpose of weakening the major of feudal lords (daymio).

According to it, all the feudal lords were obliged to live in the Edo (present-day Tokyo) capital of Japan every second year, maintaining a home there and offering money to the Governor's City. The scale of the procession was defined by the rice crops which means that as much as rice was cultivated in their lands, so much more wealth had to be spent on their procession.

The wife and the heir remained hostages there, as leverage actually.

In the film we watch some parts of the procession, samurai with their warriors, palanquin-bearers, Geishas, traditional geig dancers.

The parade begins at ten o'clock in the morning from the Soungi Temple and ends at two o'clock in the noon at the Yomoto Fujiya Hotel.



Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

We’ve come here to see the so-called Daimyo Gyuretsu, or Procession of Feudal Lords, which is re-enacted here every year. What was this procession all about? Well, during the Tokugawa period, that is to say from about 1600 to 1868, the Shogun resided in Yedo, today’s Tokyo, and he devised a very ingenious way of keeping his feudal barons in order. He commanded that they should attend his court in alternate years, and that when they went home they should leave their heirs and wives in Yedo as hostages. He further commanded that when they came to Yedo they should bring with them a large number of retainers, dressed in expensive costumes and carrying gifts, as well as supplies for their stay in Yedo. By these means the Shogun effectively minimized their ability to accumulate money with which to raise armies to wage war against him.
Among those taking part in the procession we can see various types of soldiers, porters, palanquin-bearers, pole-bearers, ladies-in-waiting, musicians and of course geishas. The institution of the geisha, by the way, still exists, but it is probably true to say that it is gradually dying out. Young women today are no longer prepared to go through the long apprenticeship needed to acquire all the accomplishments of the true geisha.
Bonar, Andrew Graham