Tamaya! Kagiya!

: 「たまやー」「かぎやー」
During the Edo period of Japanese history, public displays of fireworks (hana-bi, lit. "flower-fire") gradually became more and more popular. As their popularity grew, the displays became increasingly elaborate. One fireworks factory in particular, the Tamaya clan, dominated the industry.

In 1810, a division occurred within the Tamaya, and a spinoff group, the Kagiya, was formed. As a result of the rivalry between the two groups, annual fireworks "battles" were staged, and onlookers would cheer the rival groups, yelling their names. This practice, calling "Tamayaaa!" and "Kagiyaaa!", has become the standard Japanese way of expressing delight at a particularly excellent fireworks display.

return to lexicon