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Kiriko Lantern Festival Kicks Off in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture; Parade Helps Boost Enthusiasm for Earthquake Reconstruction


The Yomiuri Shimbun
On Friday evenings in Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, Kiriko floats are lit with torches.

NOTO, Ishikawa — The two-day traditional Abare Festival kicked off Saturday in the city of Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, which was hit hard by this year’s Noto Peninsula earthquake.

About 30 giant kiriko lantern floats paraded through the Ushitsu district, which still bears the scars of the January 1 disaster. In the evening, the 20-foot-high floats gathered in a square near the city’s harbor, where torches were hoisted to light their lanterns. The heroic chants of the participants resounded through the air, stoking enthusiasm for the reconstruction of the quake-stricken area.

With many residents leaving the district, four of the 36 community associations have given up their participation in the traditional festival due to a lack of floats. Some other municipalities in the prefecture have had to cancel or shorten their kiriko processions planned for this summer.

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