Misawa Photos

Aomori Nebuta Festival, Aomori City August 2-7 (annually)

Aomori Nebuta Festival, Aomori City August 2-7 (annually) is the most popular festival in Japan and attracts millions of visitors. The festival is about 50 miles north of Misawa Air base, which features parades of huge brightly-coloured papier-mache lanterns created in the shape of samurai. Most of the samurai depicted are either famous historical figures or characters from well known kabuki plays. Lanterns, which can be as big as 26 feet high and 39 feet wide, are placed on floats. As dusk approaches, the lanterns are illuminated and then paraded around the city. Hundreds of dancers surround the floats, dancing to the tune of flutes and beating of drums. On the final day, the float parade begins in the afternoon with the best seven floats set up on boats and paraded on the sea around Aomori Port in the evening. The parade is accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Russell J. McBride)

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