« Changes in a Village after Formation of Water Management Committee | Main | Carnaval des fleurs (Flowers Carnival) »


Ishinomaki Kawabiraki River Festival Enlivens City Streets!

On July 31 and August 1 was held Ishinomaki Kawabiraki River Festival, a signature summer event of Ishinomaki.

【The whole city had a festive atmosphere!】

The festival has never been called off even after the disaster and helped lift citizens' spirits every year. Crammed with stalls and stands all over, the city was crowded with family groups and many women in summer kimono.

【Every street food looks delicious.】

It was after three years' absence that Magobe rowboat race as well as a dance to celebrate good catch, the festival's main attractions, made a successful comeback.

【Magobe rowboat race】

In the Magobe rowboat race, boatmen compete on the speed of Magobe rowboat in the Old Kitakami River; that is about honoring Magobe Kawamura who laid the foundation of Ishinomaki's development.
Before the disaster damaged all eleven boats and kept the race from taking place for two years, the race had greatly contributed to pump up the festival with over eighty teams competing at its peak.

This year, however, four boats were newly built with assistance from around the country and a demonstration of reviving the race took place.

Rowing to male participants' powerful shouts to keep time, they glided boats down the river with strong oar work. That was really a sight to see.
Many more boats are scheduled to be built next year and so it's expected that the boat race will make a full comeback.

Elementary school pupils' yearly drum and fife band parade was also performed along shopping streets. Some 1,700 of pupils from seventeen municipal elementary schools participated in that parade.

【Both sides of a street was full of audience.】

The drum and fife band during the river festival has long been familiar to citizens such that almost all of the children in Ishinomaki never fail to participate once. Among participating elementary schools are those schools whose music instruments had been damaged by the disaster. JEN have provided new instruments for them in the collaboration with mudef and so children's performance was a lot more touching.

【Children parade in the same uniform.】

The number of visitors to the festival for two days was said to be 169,000, attracting 20,000 more than last year. In the last two years after the disaster, the festival was reduced in scale and so this year's turnout indicates that visitors are coming back to the festival. It was felt that Ishinomaki is gradually regaining what were all too real in the past, after seeing Magobe boat race reviving, the children's drum and fife band performing a parade and visitors happily smiling.

Hoping to see many more visitors smiling, JEN will continue to work on activities to enliven Ishinomaki.

====For urgent donation…↓↓↓↓↓↓

○Postal transfer account No.: 00170-2-538657
Account holder: JEN
Please write “Tohoku Earthquake” on the liaison column.

○Credit card: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/contribute/credit.php?country=s-thk&select1=0#now

Please select “Tohoku Earthquake” from the pull-down.

For any inquiries regarding bank transfers, please contact Tomita or Asakawa in JEN Tokyo Office at 03-5225-9352

☆Radio Talk Show "Sukidatsucha ❤ Ishonomaki by JEN" Broadcast every Friday noon at 12:30. You can listen on the internet via Simul Radio anywhere in the world! Click here to listen..(Japanese Only)

Well-received, the talk show will be rebroadcasted every Sunday morning at 9:30 from August. The appeal of Ishinomaki, Ishinomakians' determination to reconstruction will go out. Don't miss it.

【JEN is now accepting donations for the reconstruction of Tohoku. Your help would be very much appreciated.

August 8, 2013 in Tohoku earthquake |