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River Festival in Ishinomaki Takes Place

The 91th Ishinomaki River Festival took place, 172,000 people (according to its organizer) being attracted.

On Saturday the 31st of July, a memorial service was held to repay Mr. Magobei Kawamura for forming the basis of Ishinomaki’s prosperity, leading off the two-day festival.
Done in the daytime of the festival were Magobei-boat rowing match, the festival’s dedicatory tug-of-war competition, mikoshi (portable shrine) parade and so on. After the sun had gone down, some 5,000 lanterns were floated down the Kitakami River while there was the sound of monks reciting sutras; with the surface of the river reflecting the fantastic lights of the lanterns, many were watching them floating one by one while thinking about those victimized by the disaster.

【Lanterns on the surface of the Old Kitakammi River.】

The climax came on Friday the first of August. On water was held Magobei-boat rowing match which has made a comeback from the disaster with a support for rebuilding disaster-stricken boats. Heated races were unfolded. On land was held a parade by a firefighter marching band, a band affiliated with the Association for Ishinomaki District Administrative Affairs, which was resumed for the first time after the disaster. Many citizens cheered as it passed. JEN donated musical instruments to the firefighter marching band in March, 2012, in collaboration with Hope for Japan, a project developed by Mudef aiming at helping Tohoku areas in their recovery effort. Using the instruments, the band, attended by new members, performed two pieces of music Marines and Backdraft that it had been practicing for three months to heighten momentum toward Tohoku regions’ recovery.

【The parade of a firefighter marching band.】

A much-awaited fireworks display was held in the evening; as many as 5,000 colorful fireworks lighted up Tohoku’s short summer night and were mirrored on the surface of the river like blooming flowers.

【Fireworks set off from Nakanose Park】

Disaster victims in Ishinomaki will begin to settle in public disaster restoration housing from this fall in earnest. There are people who can’t live with a positive attitude yet. JEN will continue helping those people live an independent life.

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August 14, 2014 in Tohoku earthquake |