14 Novembre 2017
November 12, 2017
Spirits lifted by traditional fair restarted in Fukushima town
By TETSURO TAKEHANA/ Staff Writer
TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture--For the first time since residents were evacuated during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, a traditional fair to pray for a bumper harvest and prosperous businesses was revived and started here from Nov. 11.
About 200 bamboo lanterns, each containing a written message to hope for the rebuilding of the local community and other wishes, were illuminated in the two-day event, called Ebisuko-ichi.
Fireworks were also set off in memory of those who died in the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, which triggered the nuclear disaster.
Local officials decided to resume the fair this year after the evacuation order was lifted in the spring for Tomioka, except for an area where high radiation levels persist. The town is located next to Okuma, which co-hosts the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
According to the organizing committee, Ebisuko-ichi, which dates back about 100 years, drew tens of thousands of visitors from in and outside the town to numerous street stalls before the triple meltdown.