Hawk Performs For Year Of Rooster

Hawk performs for Year of RoosterA hawk has helped welcome in 2017, the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac, with aerial performances in southwestern Japan.
Falconer Misato Ishibashi and her bird performed in Saga City on Saturday.

Half-naked Players Battle For Ball In Chilly New Year Ritual

Half-naked players battle for ball in chilly New Year ritualAbout 330 stripped-down male worshippers had a ball despite getting doused with cold water in the sacred annual “Tama seseri” New Year's festival at Hakozakigu shrine here on Jan. 3.
The local participants wore only loincloths in the quaint ritual, which literally means “competing for a ball,” at the shrine in Fukuoka’s Higashi Ward, in the northern part of Kyushu island.

Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2017 Finds New Tokyo Home

Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2017 finds new Tokyo homeWith an exciting new venue on tap, the Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2017 is headed for five cinemas in the Ikebukuro district in the capital’s Toshima Ward in March, showcasing about 100 animated works from around the world.
The annual TAAF, entering its fourth year, had been held in a multiplex in the Nihonbashi district.

Hagoita-ichi Paddles Wow Visitors At Fair

Hagoita-ichi paddles wow visitors at fairVarious hagoita wooden paddles decorated with the faces of people in the news this year amused visitors at the annual year-end Hagoita-ichi fair on its opening day at Sensoji temple in Taito Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.
Colorfully decorated hagoita are being sold at the fair, which has about 25 stalls. The paddles feature designs including popular scenes from kabuki productions; portraits of samurai warrior Sanada Yukimura, who was active in the Sengoku warring states period (late 15th century to late 16th century); and comedian Pikotaro — whose “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen” song became a big hit via the internet.

Folk Music Practice Underway For Float Festival

Folk music practice underway for float festivalPeople in a city north of Tokyo are rehearsing a festival they hope will be listed by UNESCO.
The "Chichibu-yomatsuri" in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, features 6 lavish floats pulled by 1,000 participants. It is held on December 2nd and 3rd every year.

Annual Japan-ghana Festival Held In Accra

Annual Japan-Ghana festival held in AccraYoung people from Japan and Ghana have been sharing the cultures of their countries at an event aimed at deepening grassroots exchanges.
The festival has been held in Ghana every year since 2002. It is designed to nurture relations between Japan and the West African nation beyond development assistance.

29th Tokyo International Film Festival Gearing Up With 16 Competition Titles

29th Tokyo International Film Festival gearing up with 16 competition titlesFive world premieres will feature among the 16 films vying for the top prize in the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival beginning on Oct. 25 this year, festival organizers have announced.
Organizers unveiled the full lineup of films at the festival on Sept. 26. The 16 films appearing in the competition section were whittled down from among 1,502 titles from 98 countries. The festival's International Competition Jury, announced the same day, will choose one film to take home the top award, the $50,000 Tokyo Grand Prix.

Taros Boiled In Huge Pan In Yamagata Fall Festival Treat

Taros boiled in huge pan in Yamagata fall festival treatIn a hearty taste of fall, thousands of festival-goers feasted on a mouth-watering serving of taros in a soup boiled in a massive 6-meter pan in a riverbed here on Sept. 18.
A total of three tons of locally produced taros were cooked along with 1.2 tons of beef, 3,500 pieces of konjac and 3,500 leeks for about 30,000 people in the Best Imoni Society Festival in Japan. "Imoni" means “boiled taros.”

All Welcome At Saginaw's 9th Annual 'japan Festival'

All welcome at Saginaw's 9th annual 'Japan Festival'For the ninth year in a row, Saginaw residents are invited to participate in a festival celebrating the city's link to Japanese culture.
The "Japan Festival" will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Japanese Cultural Center, Tea House and Gardens, located at 527 Ezra Rust in Saginaw.

Koenji Readies For Awa-odori Dance Festival

Koenji readies for Awa-Odori dance festivalThe 60th Tokyo Koenji Awa-Odori, a festival of traditional Japanese dancing that is one of the seasonal highlights of late summer in Tokyo, will be held around JR Koenji Station in Suginami Ward, Tokyo, on Aug. 27 and 28.

Kumamoto Lantern Festival Casts A Glowing, Dream-like Scene

Kumamoto lantern festival casts a glowing, dream-like sceneEven a series of massive earthquakes this spring could not put out the lights on a centuries-old Yamaga lantern festival here and the fantastical scenes that lift the spirits of spectators.
About 1,000 women danced to a local folk ballad on Aug. 16 amid the yellow glow of massed lanterns under soft blue lighting.

Silk Reeling Dance Festival In Saitama

Silk reeling dance festival in SaitamaAbout 1,600 people have performed a dance that includes moves portraying the reeling of silk threads. The annual Chichibu Ondo Festival was held in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, on Sunday.
The town of Minano is the birthplace of the Chichibu Ondo dance, which is based on various dances in the Chichibu area. Silk farming was once a local industry.