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Aso Town Fire Festival, Kumamoto Prefecture

Listed under Festivals in Kyushu, Japan.

Photo of Aso Town Fire Festival, Kumamoto Prefecture
Photo by Photography: Jack Davies
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Every march the town holds a fire festival in which the hill sides are burnt. A kanji symbol ('fire') is also burnt on a hill. This kills pests and means the hills bloom brilliant green in the summer months after the charring. There is also a more spiritual element to the burning, in keeping with Shinto concepts of renewal and communication with the kami (shinto spirits).

The festival itself features a taiko drumming performance and then bales of straw are set on fire and the audience is invited to have a go at swinging them. Quite a lively, and dangerous, spectacle.

Written by  Jack Davies.

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