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festivals

This tag is associated with 12 posts

Tori no Ichi Chicken Festival

//By Bethany Barry Wiens// Wherever you go in Japan, there are specialties. Therefore, wherever you are in Japan, there will inevitably be festivals and celebrations of said specialties. For the town of Hinai in Northern Akita, that specialty is chicken. So it follows that once a year there is a festival celebrating the glory that … Continue reading

Yuzawa Innuko Snow Dog Festival

//By Judy Oyedele// Yuzawa City’s Innuko Matsuri is a must-see festival for the winter. Usually on a Saturday and Sunday (this year, it was held on February 8-9), the main attractions are the massive Akita dogs sculpted from snow. The festival is conveniently located just outside the Yuzawa train station doors, but there is a … Continue reading

Lake Towada Winter Story Festival

//By Lynne Francis// In northern Akita Prefecture, there sits Lake Towada. This lake borders Akita and its northern neighbor, Aomori Prefecture. While the lake is covered in a misty haze in the winter, its south-eastern side hosts the Towada Winter Story Festival. Unlike other festivals that span a few days, this grand mix of a … Continue reading

Kariwano Tug-of-War Festival

//By Jessie Fast// One of the best things about small winter festivals in Akita is how a whole town will come together for the special occasion. A tradition becomes a testament to the unity of a community, usually tucked away somewhere off little used highways. One such festival is the 500-year-old giant Tug-of-War in Kariwano … Continue reading

Namahage Sedo Festival

//By Jessie Fast// There is perhaps nothing more terrifying for children than being confronted with their nightmares face-to-face. However, for children in Akita, that is exactly what happens at the Namahage Sedo Festival in Oga City. Namahage, Akita’s infamous demon-gods with daggers in hand and red or blue faces, are used by parents to scare … Continue reading

Stepping Up: Reflecting on the Akita-ben Speech Contest

//By Lynne Francis// As ALTs, there comes a time when we all help our students with projects, papers, and speeches. However, very few of us get the chance to stand in the position of presenter rather than judge or coach. I, along with nine other contestants from six countries who currently live, study, or work … Continue reading

From Akita to Outerspace

// By Jon Stimmer // When I think of Akita, I think first, and most importantly of the great people who live here. Then, I think of the natural wonders that Akita possesses, and, finally, of the great festivals, like Kanto in Akita, the Sandcraft festival in Mitane, the Kamakura snow festival in Yokote, or … Continue reading

Noshiro Space Event Launches into its Ninth Year

// Contributed by Jon Stimmer // The Noshiro Space Event will be held from Monday, August 19th to Sunday, August 25th 2013. This annual event, now in its 9th year, will include many exciting activities. Visitors can enjoy the launch of hybrid rockets that were designed and built by university students, a Can Satellite Fly Back … Continue reading

Dance of the Fire-Swingers

// by Jessie Fast // When the term “fire-swinging festival” is being thrown around (no pun intended), it’s only natural to feel intrigue, followed quickly by an overwhelming desire to participate. Hiburi Kamakura Matsuri, perhaps better translated as the “fire dance festival,” is held every February in downtown Kakunodate in celebration of the lunar new … Continue reading

Namahage

// by Andrew Lewis //  Nighttime slowly creeps upon your town, dark countryside of little renown. Waruigo ineega? Ageless, ragged ogres clad in straw descend the mountains for our hurrah. Nakugo ineega? Marching three and three, feet caked in snow. Through paper screens our lanterns glow. Omozi kureneega? Are you lazy? Are you selfish? Let … Continue reading