"Hokkai Sohran Festival" was held in Yoichi Town !

Words by Kazu
Photos by Yoichi Town

The annual burning festival in Yoichi Town was held on July 5(Sat.) and 6(Sun.).
Tons of herring swamped to the west coast of Hokkaido including this town until 1960's.
There were many "herring tycoons" in Hokkaido at that time but the fish were used mainly for making fertilizer to grow rice crop. This dance using the oars is showing the establishment of the town.
The motif of this mascot character is apple that have been made in this town as well as the adjacent town Niki.
Karaoke competition was one of the biggest draw in which the citizens could take part in this festival.
Drumming session might be the most exciting event even for the staff of the steering committee of the festival because they could be rewarded by the applause after long long practices conducted every night before the festival.
Needless to say ? such kinds of the festival is for the deities or the Shinto of Japan  Before the festival,  so the Shinto priest prayed for the safe of fishermen and other industry at the beginning of the festival.