Traditional Festivals in Japan Face Financing Difficulties

Society Culture

Tokyo, Aug. 18 (Jiji Press)--Traditional local festivals in Japan face difficulties securing financial resources to cover costs for the events.

In the western city of Tokushima, the "Awa Odori" traditional local folk dance festival saw a record-low number of visitors this year, due partly to the fallout from confusion triggered by financing difficulties.

"We've managed to generate profits," said Taku Okuno, an official of the organizing committee of Yosakoi Soran Festival in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. While costs, including for security, are on an increasing trend because the scale of the festival has been expanded, the organizer has not received public subsidies.

The organizer is struggling to secure stable funds for the early summer festival, with sponsor companies changing almost every year. "Although we don't aim to make profits, we're fighting every year," Okuno said.

The situation is similar for Nagasaki Kunchi, a festival lasting nearly 400 years as a ritual of Suwa Shrine, a Shinto shrine in the southwestern city of Nagasaki. Each district in the city needs to secure some 30 million yen every year for the festival to cover the costs for floats and other items used in dedicatory dance by parishioners of the shrine.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press