Participants rhythmically pounded rice with a mallet as about 10 members of a local Awa Odori dance festival group played music known as
"Zomeki" on three-stringed shamisen, accompanied by gongs and taiko
Awa Odori is a local folk dance that dates back about 400 years. It is known as one of Japan's most famous mid-summer dance festivals.
Children from nursery schools in the city were among the participants. They pounded rice as they were taught by adults, and
danced to the music.
Volunteer workers distributed 30-kilogram rice cakes to participants after rolling them into small pieces and packing them in bags.
An 82-year-old man said when he hears the rhythm of the Awa dance, his body starts to move. He added that he is ready to usher in the New
Year now that he has made rice cakes.