Photo/IllutrationA float performs “yarimawashi” by making a turn at high speed at the Kishiwada Danjiri-matsuri festival in Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, on Sept. 15. (Takaharu Yagi)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

KISHIWADA, Osaka Prefecture--A traditional float festival signaling the arrival of autumn in the Senshu region started Sept. 15 in this city that is still recovering from typhoon damage.

Under chants of “sorya sorya,” 34 floats owned by communities in the Haruki district of Kishiwada in the southwestern area of Osaka Prefecture paraded through the streets to kick off the two-day Kishiwada Danjiri-matsuri (Kishiwada float festival).

Each float is 4 meters tall and weighs more than 4 tons.

In front of Nankai Electric Railway Corp.’s Kishiwada Station, the floats performed “yarimawashi,” the sharp turning at an intersection at high speed, directed by signals and gestures from “daikugata,” or the people on the top of the floats.

The performance was a welcome treat in an area that was hit hard by Typhoon No. 21 earlier this month. Many houses in Kashiwada that were damaged in the storm were still covered with blue tarps.

On Sept. 16, the last day of the festival, the floats are scheduled to visit a local shrine.

The Kishiwada city government estimates 400,000 spectators will watch the festival during the two-day period.