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Owara Kaze-no-Bon is an annual festival held on the first three days in September. Kaze-no-Bon- is literally translated as “Festival of the Wind” and it could be traced back to more 300 years ago.

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The 11 local communities will gather together to pray for God’s protection against strong wind on their harvests. Residents are hoping the strong September’s typhoon winds will blow somewhere else so that they will have bountiful spring crops.

 
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Things kicked off with a distinctive dance in which women dressed in colorful cotton yukata with patterns denoting different communities and men in happi coats glided in separate, synchronized groups through the streets of this small hillside town.

ajw.asahi.com
 
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The women wore large straw hats, a throwback to earlier times when participants would shield their faces to hide any awkwardness in their dance movements.

ajw.asahi.com
 
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They danced to Owara music created with samisen and the dulcet tones of the kokyu traditional Japanese fiddle. This was accompanied by delicate, high-pitched songs.

ajw.asahi.com

 

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Although there are many explanations about its origins, it is generally believed that the Bon ritual of paying homage to ancestors merged with a festival praying for a rich harvest.

www.jnto.go.jp

 

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The local people parade through their neighborhoods all night long, dancing to music played on stringed instruments, kokyu and shamisen. Only unmarried men and women up to their age of 25 can take part. 

www3.nhk.or.jp

 

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