The Akita Kanto Festival

Most Japanese regions, and cities, celebrate a harvest-related festival in late summer or early autumn. One of the most important, and oldest, of these is the Akita Kanto, celebrated in early August (3-7) in the city and prefecture of Akita.  The Akita Kanto festival exists to ward off disease and guarantee a fruitful autumn, as well as to “wash away sleepiness” among the population. The earliest written references to the festival were made in a diary titled The Road Where the Snow Falls, written by a traveler named Tsumura Soan in 1789. Among the highlights of the festival is the practice of carrying long

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