Tohoku Kizuna Festival parade in Fukushima, June 1-2, 2019. (東北絆まつり福島 2019年6月1-2日)

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Tohoku Kizuna Festival took place during June 1st and 2nd at Fukushima City, where six major festival floats and dances from each of the six Tohoku prefectures showed their performance in one place. This was a good chance to experience those at one time and I was one of a large number of spectators at the venue. The parade played out mainly on a section of national route 4 where car traffic was shut out. The photo shows a gigantic float of the famous Nebuta Festival from Aomori Prefecture. The figure was of a legendary general of samurai Minamotono-Yoshiie. One of his battlegrounds was Fukushima some 900 years ago and there are many places in the prefecture even today that shows his traces. The float, which was 9 meters wide, 5 meters tall, and weighed 4 tons, was newly created for this occasion.

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Fukushima showed off its Waraji Festival parade which was renovated for this year. Waraji means a straw sandal and the gigantic waraji was carried by many local people. Some of the scenes were shown above. In the top picture Fukushima City mayor was on top of the waraji. There appeared a smaller and golden waraji as shown in the bottom picture.

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Kanto parade, where large vertical bamboo poles each with nearly 50 lanterns were supported by hand, forehead, or shoulder walked along the way as shown above, came from Akita Prefecture. Highly trained skill was needed to keep taking balance of the lantern poles with winds blowing from all the directions.

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Yamagata Hanagasa dance parade went along the way with so many locals dancing with sedge hat, decorated with colorful flowers, in their hands as shown above.

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Morioka Sansa dance parade from Iwate prefecture came along with people carrying and beating a portable drum on each waste as shown above.

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Lastly, Sendai Suzume dance from Miyagi Prefecture came along, as shown above, with each carrying unfolded sensu fan decorated colorfully.

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And this picture above was of the last joint parade expressing gratitude to the world for helping recovery of the region from 2011 earthquake disaster.

The following very short videos each for Aomori Nebuta, Fukushima Waraji, and Akita Kanto may help giving you a sense of atmosphere at the venue.

Each of the regional festivals is scheduled to be held in early August this year as shown in the website

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Brilliant ‘tsurushibina’ decorations at Hanawa, Feb. 21, 2019. (塙 の華麗な つるし雛 2019年2月21日)

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Traditional ‘tsurushibina’ or hanging decorations for girls’ festival are being publicly displayed at some of the locations in Fukushima in this time of year. Hanawa Town is one of them. Photo above shows tsurushibina exhibition at Community Plaza inside the Iwakihanawa Station building of JR Suigun Line. Each of the hanging pieces was made by handicraft quilting using scrap cloth. A group of local women volunteers called ‘Quiltmate Hanawa’ made all of these. Actually this tradition had spread across Japan in late Edo Period and was passed down to this day.

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Photo above was taken from a different angle and you can see the whole hanging structure from above. This exhibit continues through March 3rd which is the girls’ festival day. JR Iwakihanawa Station is about 1.5hr train ride from Koriyama.

Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum figure festival, Nov. 7, 2017. (二本松の菊人形祭り 2017年11月7日)

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Photo above was a gorgeous scene at Nihonmatsu chrysanthemum figure festival as of today.

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Another scene is shown above. This year’s theme was Edo Period which was governed by Tokugawa Shogunate over the period of nearly 300 years. The central figure in the scene above was Tokugawa Ieyasu who established Tokugawa Shogunate in1603.

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The festival is being held at Kasumigajo Castle Park venue. Japanese Garden in the venue with autumn maple leaves was amazingly beautiful as shown above.

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History of the garden was explained as shown above in three languages.

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Kikumatsu-kun, shown above, was a chrysanthemum festival character.

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Finally, the whole Kasumigajo venue was covered with autumun colors as shown above.

The venue is located 20-minute uphill walk from JR Nihonmatsu Station. There is also a shuttle bus service during the festival season between the station and the venue.
The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)

Author:A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)
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