Nov 072012

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On the first week of November, in a small town of Mori in Shizuoka Pref. an autumn festival takes place. It’s origins are not well documented, but like many festivals at this time of the year, it has been a thanksgiving festival at the end of the harvest.

In the late Edo period, in 19th century, Mori no Matsuri became famous as the festival of fight. Once, during the festival in a small town of Mori on Akiha Kaido road, a riot against pilgrims going to Akiha Mountain broke out. The pilgrims apparently broke one of the carts used in the festival which enraged townspeople.

After this incident, festival has been suspended, but soon revived and continued for another 100 years as one of the most violent festivals in Japan.

In 1973 an accident in which 2 people lost their lives, forced local government to review the way festival had neem done.

Since that time, government has emphasized safety and it has succeeded. Despite litres of alcohol poured into participants’ throats, the festival is now quite safe event.

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