The Sagemon Girls are here to introduce their wonderful, little-known city to you.
Yanagawa City in Kyushu isn’t on everyone’s list of places to visit when they come to Japan. In fact, we wouldn’t be all that surprised if you’d never even heard of the place. But although it doesn’t have the sprawling cityscape of Tokyo, nor the deep, rich history of Kyoto, Yanagawa certainly has its own magic and wonder.
In recent years, tourism to Yanagawa has risen quite sharply, with an estimated 1.2 million people having visited last year alone. To help make sure this trend continues, two organizations in the city have come together to create a promo video titled “Sagemon Girls” to promote their fantastic town.
One of the many attractions of Yanagawa is the 470 kilometers (292 miles) of canals that stretch throughout the city. A popular activity is to hop in a boat that floats through the canal and see the city from this unique point of view.
Yanagawa is also the birthplace of two greatly revered men. The first is Kitahara Hakushu (1885–1942), one of the most popular poets from modern Japanese literature whose collection of poems and children’s songs continue to entertain to this day. The second is Kotoshogiku Kazuhiro, who on January 24, 2016 became the first Japanese-born sumo wrestler in 10 years to win a top-division tournament.
But who are the Sagemon Girls, and what is “sagemon”? One of the most famous celebrations in Japan is Hina Matsuri, a festival for girls where beautiful dolls symbolizing royalty are proudly put on display. In Yanagawa, in addition to displaying these dolls, the citizens also display “sagemon,” gorgeous handmade balls that are hung next to the hina dolls. In fact, when a baby girl is born, the relatives will begin sewing these beautiful crafts in order to display them on the baby girl’s first Hina Matsuri.
The Sagemon Girls are clearly the obvious choice for who best to represent the city. With their adorable faces and matching hair styles decorated with the lovely “sagemon” balls, they take viewers through the city to all their favorite places and introduce you to some delicious local food.
Source: Japaaan Magazine
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