Also by Anna Thomas and Nate Hill

Another year, another summer. Japan’s summer season may be hot and humid, but it’s also full of traditional events that center on family and the community. Many of these “natsu-matsuri”, or summer festivals, are held in August during the O-bon holiday, which is all about paying your respects to relatives who have passed. It’s also a time to perform the various ceremonies and dances that have been passed down in each region for hundreds of years.

Summer is one of our favorite seasons for exactly this reason. You are surrounded by traditions with rich history, and the air is alive with drum beats and the chatter of people. We want to share some of our favorite memories from this summer, where we also took the opportunity to talk about the ILC with festival-goers.

sansaSansa Odori Drum Festival

Morioka City

Sansa Odori: bells, flutes, and tens of thousands of taiko drums. Every August 1-4, the streets of Morioka City are packed with the largest parade of drums in the entire world. This year, the Office of Science and ILC Promotion of the Iwate Prefectural Government once again gathered a team of people to proudly show off the ILC project. You can see here the huge banner they carried through the street. Behind them marched the entire Prefectural team, which won a prize for their performance this year!

*Check out THE KITAKAMI TIMES #2 from October 2015 where we talked about last year’s Sansa!

akindoMizusawa Merchant’s Festival

Oshu City

The ILC Support Committee (a group of international Iwate residents for the ILC) and Oshu International Relations Association manned the ILC booth at the Akindo Matsuri (Merchant’s Festival) held in Mizusawa, Oshu City on June 12th. As in previous years, the main dish was “International Linear Co-Weiners,” with different sauces on each side representing electrons and positrons. Children and their parents flocked to Higgs mascot “Higgs-kun” and had a go at the fun ILC quiz.

ichinoseki-summer-festivalIchinoseki Summer Festival

Ichinoseki City

In early August, the ILC Promotion Division in Ichinoseki took part in the parade at the local summer festival with the rest of the city office team, holding an ILC banner at the front and handing out plastic ILC fans to wave off the summer heat. There was an also an event for kids to help carry portable shrines around, and one of the groups carried the ILC-themed shrine they made last year, beefed up this year with support for the Olympics.

zattzakaZattzaka Festival

Oshu City

Matsuris are a fun way to get involved in your community. Oshu International Relations Association is waiting for you to join the international team for Zattzaka Festival, held in Mizusawa, Oshu every year in August.

city-festivalIchinoseki City Fair

Ichinoseki City

In the last week of August was the Ichinoseki City Fair, where the ILC Promotion Division set up a booth. International residents of the city also took part in promoting the ILC, wearing ILC T-shirts Ichinoseki has made and chatting with people stopping by at the booth.

gingaGinga Festival

Oshu City

At the popular Iwate Ginga festival on August 20th, held every year in Oshu at NAOJ Mizusawa Observatory and Oshu Space and Astronomy Museum. Lots of families came to this science/space extravaganza. The ILC area/booth included a wooden ILC model, freebies like Oshu City’s ILC bumper stickers and info on upcoming events.

craft-beerNational Craft Beer Festival

Ichinoseki City

In mid August, there was Ichinoseki’s annual National Craft Beer Festival. 79 breweries from 40 prefectures across Japan, plus one from Germany and one from Belgium, served up more than 200 brands of beer over three days. Many people involved with the ILC in Japan came to enjoy the craft beer and local food, and plastic ILC fans were also handed out at this venue to the many visitors.



【岩手県】 和山アマンダ、【奥州市】 アンナ・トマス、【一関市】 ネイト・ヒル