The Fireworks of Japan *RERUN
In this episode of Seasoning the Seasons, we go on a journey of fireworks all over Japan, contemplating their beauty and the story behind their creation. A collection of the latest fireworks that take place in Omagari, Akita Prefecture. Young fireworks artists selected from all over Japan come to outdo each other with elaborate ingenuity. The grandson of the pyrotechnician who made the famous firework "Magic Botan" in Shizuoka Prefecture takes on the challenge to further enhance the technique inherited from his grandfather.

"Magic Botan"

This is a crafty firework which was first launched in 1968. "Botan" is the Japanese word for peony flower. Gunpowder smoke hides the sparkles of the firework, then suddenly a circle of light appears. Named "Magic Botan," this firework was created by a legendary pyrotechnician. Today, his grandson, the 3rd generation in a family of pyrotechnicians, attempts to create a new style of fireworks.

Handheld Fireworks

These traditional fireworks from the town of Toyohashi must be made by the handler themselves. Bamboo is cut down into cylinders, strengthened by winding rope around them and stuffed with gunpowder. After a month's preparation, on the day of the festival, the courage of the men is tested as stand clutching the handheld firework as it blows out a pillar of fire.

Giant Fireworks (2-foot shell)

A group of fireworks aficionados convene at a fireworks festival in Lake Hamana to launch their own fireworks. Under the guidance of a pyrotechnician, a group of locals receive training, then set up and launch the fireworks themselves. The climax of the fireworks show is a giant firework with a 60cm diameter, weighing 70kg. A large flower of fire adorns the night sky.