TECH & CULTURE

Japan in Photos – Akita's Kanto Festival

By Staff Writer
August 23, 2022
The Kanto Festival is held every August in Akita Prefecture in Japan's north (while the word Kanto (関東)is typically used to mean the region around Tokyo, this kanto (竿灯) means raised lanterns). thousands of paper lanterns, in the shape of bales of rice, are traditionally lit to celebrate everyone's hopes for a bountiful rice harvest. This festival is designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property of Japan and is considered one of the three major festivals in Tohoku. The lamp poles, which can be 12m tall and weigh up to 50kg, are carried by men who will often balance them on their palms, foreheads, shoulders, and waist as they walk through the streets. Visitors come from all over Japan to view this exciting event.
Arrays of paper lamps carried on bamboo poles
A pole-carrier balances his lamps on the palm of his hand
A musician plays a flute during the lamp parade
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