Tokyo Dezomeshiki

The New Year's Fire Review - 6 Jan 2009

Last year I had missed the festival for some reason, so this year I was determined to see it: the Dezomeshiki.

[HDR] The event is held at Tokyo Big Sight convention center at the artificial island Odaiba. The exhibition/convention center is really huge and consists of several buildings and outdoor spaces. I thought the architecture was very nice, so here are some pictures of the venue, before getting to the dezomeshiki pictures.



So they started with marching, a short opening speech, raising the flag...

some more speeches, happy new year wishes, and inspection of the fire companies...

then a performance by the band and company footdrills (apparently, in Japan the fire department belongs to the ministry of funny walks)

Then the mascot came by (followed by the junior fire department members)

more marches of all kinds of special groups (like earthquake response team, mountaineering team, volunteers, ...)

while everything was recorded and photographed, not only by the press, but also by the fire department itself, who also used some of their own materials to get the best positions :-)

Then came the parade of equipment. Not only the pump trucks, but also many special things, like these motorists

a truck with huge search-lights

of course ladder-trucks

but also boats

and helicopters!

Then it was time for some arobatic ladder stunts. This is dating from the Edo period, when the fire department was established (17th century). while many hold the ladder, one goes up and checks where the fire is, or gets an overview of the situation. In the New Years festivals they probably showed off to their friends "see what I can do on the ladder" and a tradition was born. It was really nice to see.

Then there were some demonstrations, of fire extinguishing of course...

but also of a response to a big accident in a bio-chemical plant...

and of cleaning up after an earthquake

The finale included a big water discharge and a line-up of the ladder trucks with festive flag decorations

six little firemen...

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