The technology for fireworks (hanabi) came to Japan together with firearms in around the 16th century.
Firework displays became popular in the middle of the Edo period (1603–1868), in the 18th century.
In 1733, the first public fireworks display in Japan was held in the Ryogoku area of Edo (now called Tokyo), and was known as the “Ryogoku Hanabi.”
Firework rockets were first launched at a festival marking the beginning of the summer pleasure boat season.
The display was thought to appease the spirits of people killed by famine and infectious diseases.
Before long firework shows became an established summer tradition, coloring the night sky.


  • Title: Hanabi (Fireworks)
  • Photographer: Tadayuki Minamoto

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