57 巻 (2012-2013) 1 号 p. 21-39,181
This article clarifies the “Figuration” (Elias 1969) of Kishiwada Danjiri Festival, focusing on its management by tracking competition within and around the organization, and the members’ career path in this festival. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival is one of the most famous float festivals in Japan, known for the danger inherent in its performance. Running in rhythm to the music of bells, flutes and drums, hundreds of people pull the 3 to 4 ton floats (named danjiri) as fast as possible. The highlight of the festival is called Yarimawashi, when a float turns a corner without slowing down. To achieve the perfect Yarimawashi, the members are required to have strong ties of solidarity and high-quality techniques. The festival’s organization consists of two groups, one whose members pull the floats, and another which controls the whole festival. The former is called cho-nai, and it recruits members from neighboring districts to perform Yarimawashi; the latter is called nen-ban, selecting and associating members from the cho-nai organizations to run the festival. Observing these two organizations, we see that the cho-nai organization is structured vertically based on seniority, while the nen-ban organization has a horizontal structure based on the members’ careers. In this article, we analyze every aspect of competition between organizations, groups and individuals. Since the festival is run by two organizations, a unique and original career path is created, which develops “festival-elites”. These elites alternate, and gain experience in both organizations to develop a network and skills by competing with others, in order to obtain “capital” to become the future leaders of the festival. In addition, we show that the mechanism of this festival has a nested structure, in which competition and solidarity coexist. This article points out the figuration of the festival as a complex and dynamic cultural event.