KENKA MATSURI in Ashibetsu City

by Kazu

After the announcement of 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 2 minutes before the time trial of carrying like-a-portable shrine called "YAMAGASA" that weighs one ton, got started.
The festival and the style of the game were introduced from Hakata City on Kyushu Island in southern part of Japan.
This team is composed of the clerks of the municipality and singing a song. Only the first team to carry around the float is allowed to sing the song.

First off, the float is carried around the red flag on the road and starts to go around the town in the time trial.

Each float is carried around the city for approximately twenty minutes and get together around the red flag.

Carrying the float 2 kilo meters is so tough even for the adults that wears the carriers down.

The carriers change again and again on the rotation basis but the leader of each float keeps on riding on the float to supervise the parade.

Everybody is so tired but praises each other and shares the memories with the member s of the team.
At the end of the festival, packed rice cakes are thrown to the citizens and the guests to the festival.
This is the rice cake "Mochi" made of the rice produced locally. It's a pity that we could not spend money while watching the time trial but the view from the stage was so nice. On August 4(Sat.), "the candle art festival" will be held and the details are at   http://www.city.ashibetsu.hokkaido.jp/syokokanko/kankou/kankou/candle_art.html  but the language is in Japanese.

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