Hamamatsu Kite Festival originated in the Muromachi period around 445 years ago. The first kite was flown by a carpenter named Jingoro Sabashi, who lived in a castle town called Irino-cho, Hamamatsu. On this kite he painted the new born son of Iio Buzannokami, who was the then lord of Hamamatsu castle, in celebration of his birth.
Seeing the kite in the sky, a lot of young men from the castle town became fascinated by this and began flying big kites competitively.
This festival came to an end in the late 1560s and remained so for about 25 years. However, when Tatewaki Horio became the second lord of Hamamatsu castle, he encouraged it to be a public festival again.
In the Meiji period, each town of Hamamatsu had their own kites, painted with their town’s original mark. These were called “Machijirushi” kites.
This traditional festival has more than 400 years of history. Nowadays, the 169 old districts of the city each have their own original kites and they compete by flying them along the Nakatajima sand dunes near the Enshu sea side. To this day, this festival continues to be the biggest and most lively annual event held in Hamamatsu.