Update – 1st June 2020 – The fireworks will happen tonight at 8pm Japan time or 12pm in the UK today. The organisers are not revealing any details whatsoever on the various locations, so just keep your eyes peeled on the sky tonight if you are lucky enough to be in Japan tonight.
Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, many fireworks display events across the world have been cancelled or postponed to a later date.
But the pyrotechnician wizards of Japan have come together with a new project titled ‘Cheer Up Hanabi’ (For those that didn’t know, the word Hanabi is the Japanese word for fireworks).
Japan is divided into 47 prefectures forming the country. Unfortunately, nobody knows when the fireworks will take place, but what we do know is that the fireworks will be fired simultaneously all across Japan, without prior announcement, for the first time in history.
Once the event has taken place, the following hashtag should be trending worldwide #cheeruphanabi
Mechanic, motorcycle racer and television presenter of the odd engineering project, like the very entertaining Tractor Racing, Guy Martin becomes ‘Our Guy in Japan’ as he visits the area of Yokahama in Japan.
During his extensive race career, he endured some horrific injuries including a broken back (reconstructed), broken ribs and breaks to his hands (pinned) and legs (pinned).
He is a straight speaking fearless Yorkshireman who experienced dinner at a café with loads of micro pigs running around, a dip in a mildly radioactive hot spring and even visited the slums to see the ‘love hotels’ (bordello) illegal gambling and gangland first-hand. The first thing which surprises is that the Wi-fi in the slums is all free of charge. He ate Fugu (pufferfish) which, due to its very poisonous nature, MUST be prepared only by specially trained (and highly revered) chefs.
The shrine in Yokahama is the centre of the firework festival and carrying the shrine is an honour bestowed on very few people. The eight towns surrounding the City all send representatives with fireworks to the temple. Each cannon (firework battery – this one looks like a Maltese shell) is made from bamboo and straw and contain so much explosive, they have to be made at night when it is a little cooler to avoid exploding due to the high temperatures in Japan. The Shinto priest purifies all the pyrotechnics so that they can ward off evil for the coming year. Unlike the UK, the display starts and finishes with the biggest and best of the fireworks on offer so once the event is officially started (with a bang) each of those representatives from visiting towns shows their wares. The cannons are still made in the same way as the 16th-century Japanese artillery would have used many years ago.
Once the cannons are lit, then it is time to stand back and enjoy. When Guy was asked if he would like to have a go – INDEEDY! He was a little worried (understandably) but they gave him a little one to hold and it was really dramatic, with a huge shower of sparks before a considerable wallop – his language was a little colourful, but it was really thrilling. His main comment was that the people clearly have no concept of Health and Safety and would not be allowed to even hold a sparkler without gloves etc on.
Shot in July at the Gamagori Summer Fireworks Festival with a high-speed 8k camera the fireworks featured take on a new life of their own, at super slow speeds the peonies and huge breaks seem to hang in the air defying gravity.
As the Tezutsu hand-held fireworks release their final charge, the vast amounts of energy expelled are visible on the holders faces, taking away their breath.
As we traverse through the video Stunning Magenta stars break effortlessly high above.
Sit back, relax and enjoy 2 minutes of pure pyro power.