This is a Taikodai, which means “drum-float”. One can find it over various areas of Japan (especially in the West part of the country).
Taikodai are about 5 meters high (15ft) and weigh about 2.5 tons (5,500 pounds). About 150 men are required to carry just one.
Taidokai are totally handmade, each one of them is unique and can be worth up to 80,000 €, although they’re not for sale and don’t belong to anybody in particular but to whole neighborhoods (or more precisely neighborhood organizations that exist to take care of them). Normally, each neighborhood in town has one.
The top part is called Tenmaku, it represents the skies (or even the universe). The red, blue and white piece of fabric represents the sun and he sky. The big black knots are the Kukuri and they symbolize the clouds, as for the Fusa, the tassels that are attached to the Kukuri, they represent the rain.
The four posts that hold the Taikodai together are called the Shihonbashira and they symbolize the four cardinal directions.
And what are Taikodai for? You may wonder…
Oh, you’ll see very very soon…