My uncle told me that he quit to join Soma Nomaoi festival anymore.
What is Soma Nomaoi?
“The Soma Nomaoi is a festival and shrine ritual held in the Soma area in Fukushima Prefecture from July 23rd to 25th.
Although the festival is not very well known in the country, it went on an expedition to foreign countries including the United States, the UK, Russia and Brazil.
It is said the festival originated from a military training from Taira no Masakado. He used wild horses in place of enemies and trained soldiers for battle. Then he offered captured horses to a shrine.
It has been designated a significant intangible folk cultural asset of the country.
Three shrines and five villages in the Soma area take part in the festival. Samurai cavaliers dressed as if from a period of provincial wars head for a rendezvous point through a national road and rice fields.
The Soma area was damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th and includes the nuclear evacuation zone. Many of horseback riders lost their family members, houses and horses. About 200 of 370 horses which had been kept for this festival in the area were left dead or missing by the tsunami. Many people doubted whether the festival could be held and the organizers discussed carefully whether to hold it. However, local people have strong feelings for the festival.
Although about 500 riders with their horses participated in this festival each year, participants in this year’s festival are only 80 of them.
The festival is being conducted at a reduced scale. The highlight of this festival, armor horse race(Kacchu-keiba) and competition for sacred flag(Sinki-sodatsusen), are held on the second day of the festival, but they are cancelled this year. ”
Wild horse chasing(Nomagake) is a Shinto ritual that comes from offering captured wild horses. Usually the chasing is held at the Soma Kodaka Shrine on the third day, but the shrine is located in the exclusion zone. So this event is held at Taka Shrine on 25th.
On the second and third day, events will be held within a 30-kilometer radius of the nuclear plant. The organizers say it’s unadvisable for visitors to go there.”
My uncle were lost his son and mother in law by Tsunami because it hits his house.
I and my uncle participated Soma Nomaoi, but he doesn’t have to keep the energy.
One day I back to my home town Minamisoma city, I talked with him because he is evacuating in my fathers house.
(My family are evacuating from there now except my father)
He talked to me that he quit to Soma Nomaoi and gave Jinbaori(samurai jacket), armer, helmet to me.
These were washed away with his house, but he found them and kept for me.
I have not participated in Soma Nomaoi because I went to the training camp in the summer season in three years.
But may be next year, I will back to Soma Nomaoi with his Samurai gear.
This time I bring just his Jinbaori to Kona Hawaii.
I’m going to wear and join the Ironman parade from 5PM on Tuesday.
Someday, please visit to Soma Nomaoi.