The Most Big Shell in the World

Have you ever seen large-size round shaped shell? Was it 12inch? 24inch? or 36inch?
I introduce here "48 inch shell". Yes, just most big round shaped shell in the world. It appeared in "The Guinness Book of Records".
This shell launched at "Katakai-Matsuri(Festival)" in Katakai town, Ojiya-city, Nigata pref,Japan. On every September 9 and 10.
This Festival very famous for this"48 inch shell" inside and outside Niigata prefecture. It launching one shot per day. that is total two 48 inch during two day of the exhibition. Of course it launched not only 48 inch but every size(include 5shot 36inch shells, and two 24 inches, many of 12 inches) and kinds of fireworks on this festival.
The meaning of launching fireworks, It dedicate a fireworks to the god of a shrine in this festival.
48 inch shell, we call this one "Yonshakudama (in japanese)", It have 120 centi meters across in diameter befor launch. weight 450 kirograms. After shoot, It arrive at 850 meter hight and bloom 800 meter across in diameter.
Two Yonshakudama has two type of shell. One is "Brocade crown over small flowers". Other is "Floral shell of shells twice blooming".
Festival start at 19:00. end at 22:30. 48 inch shell shoot out at 22:00. You never see 48 inch shell except here. Because 48 inch shell is never allowed to be take out from Katakai town.

Katakai Enka Kogyo( Katakai Fireworks Manufacturer Home Page) in Japanese.
each photo able to enlarge.
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You can see some real size mockups of Yonshakudama(48 inch shell) in places Katakai town during festival. This one is in front of the post office. A look of reserved box seat area for watching fireworks. A view of launching site.
12 inch launching mortar tubes in a cluster.
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The mortar tubes monument for sightseeing. These are real but spent tubes. Tallest one for 48 inch. Smallest one for 5 inch. The day of display(Sep9,10), this place is also the point of commemoration photography for local townsmen who dedicated fireworks. Tallest one for 48 inch.
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Two 48 inch shell and me(webmaster) in warehouse of factory. This is "real" shell not mockup. 48 inch shell in warehouse. A letter surface of the shell "Sekaiichi Yonshakudama=The most big shell in the world". Carry out from warehouse.
Load on a truck for carry to launching site. A panoramic view of launch site(for 48 inch only). Visitors(on the banking for protection) are kept a very close watch loading shell into the mortar. Loading down to exclusive launching mortar tubes by a crane.
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Loading down to exclusive launching mortar tubes by a crane. Blooming.
Brocade crown over small flowers.
Floral shell of shells twice blooming.
The other fireworks display scene.    

Spangle starmine
Floral shell of shells

Floral shell of shells
Two shoot 12 inches
Gold crown
Two shoot 36 inches
Old charcoal color
Floral shell of shells
Gold crowns
Gold crowns

48 inch floral shell of shells