Akita Kanto Festival
Every year from August 3-6, Akita City hosts the Kanto Festival, one of Tohoku’s Three Great Festivals. Festival revelers carry bamboo poles, some up to 12 meters in length, adorned with rows of elaborate paper lanterns to represent the ear of the rice plant. The poles are hoisted high into the air by men in traditional festival dress who carefully balance the heavy poles on their hands, shoulders, backs and even on their foreheads. Cheers of encouragement erupt from the excited spectators who line the streets as over 200 poles are thrust into the air at once, embodying the strength and beauty of Tohoku.