Said to have been started 350 years ago by Chinese people living in Nagasaki, Peiron Boat Races were used to offer prayers to the sea god. In recent years the races have been held from June to August in various parts of Nagasaki.
30 athletes board each 14m long boat and race the 1,150m round trip distance to the beat of taiko drums and gongs.
Peiron Boat Races are held ever year on the last weekend of July in Nagasaki Port with teams representing various locations in Japan competing for victory. Highly contested races involving teams from workplaces, as well middle school students and all-girl teams, extend the event's enjoyment.
■The Origin of Nagasaki Peiron Boat Racing
Nagasaki Peiron Races in the port were said to have begun in 1655 after Chinese boats docked in Nagasaki Harbor were ravished by a storm, sinking the ships and causing many people to drown. Chinese residents borrowed boats and began racing to appease the anger of the sea god.
Peiron is also the origin of Japan boat racing that begun 350 years ago. Today, it has become a colorful springtime seasonal tradition in Nagasaki.