Japanese Fireworks under Threat amid COVID-19 Crisis

Society Culture

Okazaki, Aichi Pref., June 18 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese summer pastime of fireworks is under threat due to the cancellations of fireworks shows nationwide caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Fireworks makers are feeling the crunch as uncertainties mount over whether fireworks shows can be held next year onward. There are also concerns over whether the traditional techniques of making fireworks can be passed on to younger generations.

Isogai Fireworks Co., based in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, has been closed since late April. Some 10 tons of fireworks produced since last autumn lie in its warehouse due to the cancellations of fireworks shows through September, which account for 90 pct of the company's annual sales.

"It's the first time since the end of World War II that our sales have plummeted this much," said Naotaka Isogai, the fourth-generation head of the family-run business with a history of more than 130 years.

Isogai serves as chairman of the Japan Pyrotechnics Association, comprising fireworks producers and retailers from around the country. He was also instrumental in developing an innovative technology which uses computers to synchronize fireworks with music.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press