“Chagu Chagu Umakko” Joins Parade in Paris

Society Guide to Japan

Paris, Sept. 18 (Jiji Press)--“Chagu Chagu Umakko,” a traditional horse festival in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Iwate, joined a parade on Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris Sunday.

Spectators cheered at the horses that were dressed in colorful costumes and walking with bells ringing.

The parade was held as an event related to “la Route du Poisson,” an equestrian competition originating from horse-drawn wagons that once transported fish from the sea in northern France to Paris. Chagu Chagu Umakko is designated as an intangible folk cultural property in Japan.

Takashi Iwama, 44, from the Iwate city of Tono, who became the first Japanese to take part in the competition, said that he is “honored” to be able to ride on a horse-drawn carriage in front of the Arc de Triomphe. Based on the origin of the competition, Iwama loaded his carriage with “shimesaba” vinegared mackerel.

Noting that there was “saba kaido,” or mackerel road, which was used to transport mackerel from Fukui Prefecture in central Japan to neighboring Kyoto Prefecture in the past, Iwama said that he hopes the competition will help promote cultural exchanges between Japan and France.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press