Today I would like to introduce you to one of the Japanese traditional performance arts called “Kiyari (song for carrying heavy logs)” and “Hashigo-nori (acrobatic performances on a ladder)”. These performances have been preserved and performed in many places of Japan. From the below link, you can watch a video that I took at a fire drill in Kawaguchi City, Saitama in Japan on November 22, 2015.
“Kiyari” meant to bring logs and stones, and those who worked on it sang songs called “Kiyari-uta”. In the Edo period (1603-1868), scaffolding builders who were dealing with fighting fires as well as construction works – because at that time, they stopped fires by breaking down flammable wooden houses – came to hand down these songs together with “Hashigo-nori” and “Matoi-furi (moving a decorated pole – you can see it at the beginning of the video)”.
Nowadays, they usually perform “Kiyari” on special occasions such as the New Year’s parade of fire brigades and topping out ceremonies.