Hand Tube Fireworks
Tezutsu is hand-held tube fireworks (portable fireworks cannons), it is a bamboo cylinder filled with firework gunpowder, it is burst with a person holding the tube with their hands, blowing a flame towards the sky . The brave person must hold the tube still for 30 seconds without shaking, and finally ending with a spectacular explosion.
It is said that fireworks were developed as a weapon in the beginning, but ended up becoming fun. Tokugawa Ieyasu is said to have lit fireworks by hand in the early 17th century after the unification of Japan. After that, fireworks making was inherited in the Mikawa district, where Ieyasu was born.
Yoshida Shrine in Toyohashi City , Aichi Prefecture is considered the birthplace of Tezutsu fireworks. In the Shrine there is a memorial written ¨birthplace of Tezutsu fireworks¨, which describes the history of the development of Tezutsu fireworks since the beginning of the 18th century.
Tezutsu is made of bamboo with a diameter of 10 cm and a length of 70 cm, and tightly wound with ropes of rice stalks braided around it, and 1.8 kg to 3 kg of black powder mixed with grinding wheel or sulfur and ash into a hand cylinder. It is a handmade tradition, from cutting the bamboo to placing the gunpowder and the rope.
Dressed in traditional clothing, including special thick, fireproof cotton padded jackets that cost over 150.000 yen each, the men line up in the darkness and are assisted by a person carrying a small flame, used to light the cannon.