Asian Review

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Rocket festivals are found in many countries in Asia, including Thailand and Japan. This study examines the similarities and differences between the Yoshida Ryusei festival in Japan and Pa-Aw Bang-fai rocket festival in Thailand. The theoretical framework of this study is drawn from Tsuneo Sogawa's "Culture Complex of Sport" which focuses on three aspects, namely socio-cultural, technologicalcultural and spiritual-cultural. Rocket festivals from the two countries are similar in terms of the socio-cultural element because the two festivals are related to folk beliefs and have religious sites as their centers. However, the Japanese festival focuses on safety whilst the Thai festival emphasizes fun and gambling. The precise differences between the two festivals are related to the technological-cultural and spiritual-cultural elements. The difference in technological-cultural element lies in the use of materials. Japanese rockets are made from natural materials whilst Thai rockets use synthetic materials such as PVC. As for the spiritual-cultural difference, the Japanese festival allows farmers to show their gratitude to the gods for fertility whilst the Thai festival aims to invoke rain.



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