October 7th, 8th, 9th every year
Nagasaki Kunchi is the autumn festival of Nagasaki's guardian deity at Suwa Shrine and is held every year throughout the town for three days from October 7th.
In 1634, two courtesans, Takao and Otoha, from Dayu-machi(later moved to Maruyama-machi and Yoriai-machi) dedicated the noh song Komee to Suwa Shrine, and this is said to be the beginning of Nagasaki Kunchi. In the same year, the construction of Dejima began, and the Spectacles Bridge, Meganebashi, was built. With the support of the Nagasaki magistrates,Nagasaki Kunchi became a more popular and famous festival, and many foreign influenced performances were incorporated into it.
Currently, there are 58 dance towns in Nagasaki City, which are divided into seven groups. The groups’ performances are rotated once every seven years. Performances include the dragon dance, the whale spouting dance, and kokkodesho, which are designated as national important intangible folk cultural properties.
The meaning of Kunchi is the Chinese custom of celebrating September 9th of the lunar calendar, and the ninth day, ku-nichi in Japanese, is read as Kunchi. The Nagasaki Traditional Performing Arts Promotion Association was established to support and develop Nagasaki Kunchi and the preservation of the performances, which plays a part in the economic and tourism promotion of Nagasaki City. The Association opened a venue at Chuo Koen so more Nagasaki citizens and tourists can enjoy the performances.