Iizaka Kenka Matsuri (fighting festival) in Fukushima is one of the three biggest fighting festivals in Japan.
This region is known for its hot springs where visitors come to relax and spend a peaceful time to relieve the daily fatigue.
However, the atmosphere on this day changes, to a one with power and energy, bustling with many people.
At the highlight of this festival, Miya Iri, the six lantern decorated platforms of taiko drums, carried by many youths, clash aggressively into each other, preventing the mikoshi (portable shrine) from miya iri (entry of the portable shrine into the shrine’s premises after the visits).
The strong sound of the taiko drums echo from the ground.
This intense fight lasts for over two hours, and as the name “fighting festival” conveys, it may turn into a dangerous festival as people get injured often.
The uplifting feeling absent in our everyday lives, solidarity with the people, and distance from everyday troubles; this may be the time when men can shine.