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‘2013 Tohoku Rokkon Festival’ Was Held in Fukushima in Support of Reconstruction Efforts

July 5, 2013 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

For two days in June (Saturday June 1st/Sunday June 2nd), the Tohoku Rokkon Festival 2013 Fukushima (sponsored by the Tohoku Rokkon Festival Executive Committee) was held in Fukushima City (capital city of Fukushima prefecture), filling the city with an unprecedented air of excitement.

The Tohoku Rokkon Festival is one of the largest festivals in Japan. Six of Tohoku prefecture’s summer festivals gather in one venue to honor the souls of the departed and pray for recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011. The festival rotates amongst prefectures affected by the disaster (and also where there are prefectural offices). The inaugural festival was held in Sendai in 2011, and continued in Morioka for the second phase. The third annual festival held in Fukushima city, attracted 250,000 people from all over Japan.

‘Fuku’, meaning good fortune or luck was the theme of the event. The origin of the theme was founded on the Japanese idiom “Wazawai tenjite fuku to nasu,” which means “out of disaster springs fortune,” or a “blessing in disguise.” The theme holds the hope that happiness will come to those who attend the event.

The parade route stretched along Route-4 highway, where the Fukushima Waraji Festival, Aomori Nebuta Festival, Akita Kanto Festival, Morioka Sansa Odori Festival, Yamagata Hanagasa Festival, and Sendai Tanabata Festival were all in celebration. In the plaza around the parade grounds, the 13 cities that comprise Fukushima prefecture (Fukushima, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Koriyama, Iwaki, Shirakawa, Sukagawa, Kitakata, Soma, Nihonmatsu, Tamura, Minamisoma, Date, and Motomiya) used the opportunity to give visitors a taste of the appeal of Tohoku and Fukushima prefecture through their local products and traditional arts. Along with mascot ‘Kibitan’, Fukushima’s symbol of reconstruction, the performance stage came alive when “Team Kibitan” performed dance and songs. Team Kibitan is charged with promoting ‘Fukushima’s well being’ message across Japan.

Fukushima prefecture is recovering and moving forward from the 2011 disaster with the support of people around the globe. Committee members felt that the large number of supporters that came from all over Japan gave the area’s people added courage, spirit and vigor.
The committee wishes to thank everyone for their support. This event is an important driving force in the reconstruction efforts. The ties created with people both in Japan and around the world including the visitors for this event will be cherished while we continue forward with restoration.

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