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Friday, June 1, 2012

Lantern spectacle and costume parade commemorate lord's arrival

Staff writer

The three days that comprise the Hyakumangoku Festival are sometimes said to be the most highly anticipated days of the year by Kanazawa residents, but they could be some of the best days for all of Ishikawa Prefecture.

Initiated in memory of Maeda Toshiie (1539-99), a general of Oda Nobunaga, the Hyakumangoku Festival brings traditional regional culture to life.

A lantern-floating event held on the first night of the festival always draws a good crowd. About 1,500 candle-lit lanterns will be set afloat on the Asano River. Decorated with traditional Kaga Yuzen patterns, the floating lanterns were traditionally used to lead lingering spirits back to the netherworld after they had had reunions with their living families during festivals.

The signature event of the festival will be held June 2, bringing the story of how Maeda entered the city in the form of a costumed parade. A marching dancing parade and a torchlight noh performance can also been seen later the same day.

Hyakumangoku Festival takes place in Kanazawa on June 1-3. For more information, visit www.experience-kanazawa.com.

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