Itoigawa City , Niigata
|"Omi no take no karakai"|
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"Omi no take no karakai" is a New Years event which has been carried out since the Edo period (1603-1867).
The event is performed in competition between the East area and the West area. It begins with "Omatsutori" on January 7, where the two areas try to compete over kazaritake or ornamental bamboo and two bamboos (isamitake and awasetake) and tell the fortune for a bumper crop. The isamitake and awasetake activities, where bamboo branches are hooked and pulled, are enlivened by spirited young men, and children and the elderly alike join passionately in the activities while the audience throws out fervent cheers.
Although it is said that there used to be a few similar examples of this kind of New Years event in Japan, this one in Omi, Itoigawa City, is the only remaining one. This event was designated a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property on December 28, 1987.
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