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Events
(1.) Tsugaru City Nebuta Festival
     Aomori is famous all over Japan for its many Nebuta festivals, taking place throughout the prefecture during the summer. In fact, in an average year over three million people visit the prefecture to see them. The Tsugaru City Nebuta Festival ushers in the festival season at the end of July, being the first Nebuta to be held throughout Aomori. Tsugaru City citizens create handmade, small-scale versions of Aomori City style Nebuta floats. The floats, often depicting scenes from the Japanese Warring States period and the Chinese Three Kingdoms period, are lit up are paraded through the city. Accompanied by drums, flutes and bells, the lit-up floats look stunning against the night sky.
     The most widely held explanation of the origin of the festival contends that it was started to ward off evil spirits and to offer protection from natural disasters. More specifically, the festival is said to be connected to the purification rite of tōrō-nagashi (the placement of lantern offerings on the water), performed during the Tanabata Festival (the Star Festival of the 7th of July) many places in Japan.
Aomori City Style Nebuta Float Picture
Aomori City Style Nebuta Float
Japanese Flute (Fue) Picture
Aomori City Style Nebuta Float
Taiko Drums
Taiko Drums
Aomori City Style Nebuta Float Picture
Aomori City Style Nebuta Float

Events
(2.) Cheseborough Cup
     On the early morning of October 30, 1889, the Cheseborough, a merchant vessel built in Bath, Maine, met with a violent windstorm and tragically crashed 300 meters off the coast of former Shariki Village (now Tsugaru City). The fishermen of Shariki discovered the wrecked ship and worked desperately to save the sailors. Miraculously, four of the 23 sailors were saved. The rescued sailors were offered food, clothing and shelter as the villagers endeavored to nurse them back to health. Three days later, the four rescued sailors were able to return back to the United States safely.
     To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the wreck and rescue of the Cheseborough, Shariki Village (now Tsugaru City) held the first Cheseborough Cup in 1990. The Cheseborough Cup is a swimming relay race with the goal of swimming the 10,200 kilometer distance between Bath and Tsugaru City. Under the motto "sending a message of love and courage across the seas," teams of five people from all over Japan - and indeed around the world - compete to fulfill the grand goal of swimming the distance between the sisters cities.
     The Cup is organized by a volunteer organization, the Cheseborough Club. Each Year, Tsugaru City gets closer and closer to its ambitious goal of 10,200 kilometers.
Cheseborough Cup Finish Line Picture
Finish Line
Picture of Bath and Tsugaru City Students
Bath and Tsugaru City Students

Events
(3.) Uma-Ichi Festival
Burning of Nebuta Horse Floats with Fireworks Picture
     Farm horses were once an integral part of rice cultivation in Tsugaru City. In fact, the horse market of the former town of Kizukuri (now Tsugaru City), which opened in 1903, was one of the three largest horse markets in all of the Tohoku area. However, as mechanization of agriculture progressed and the need for farm horses declined, Tsugaru City residents decided to express their gratitude to all of the horses that had toiled for the town by starting the Uma-Ichi Festival. First taking place in 1975, the festival is held in late August every year and is highlighted by a parade of Nebuta-style horse floats and a traditional ceremony performed by the Mokko Society, both of which are meant to soothe the spirits of the horses.
     The climax of the festival takes place when the horse floats are set on fire, an action signifying both gratitude for the hard work of the horses and the end of the summer. The burning horse floats, combined with fireworks, turn the night sky a scorched red. This dreamlike festival has become a staple Tsugaru City event.
Yosakoi Dancers Picture
Yosakoi Dancers
Nebuta-Style Horse Float Picture
Nebuta-Style Horse Float
Burning of the Horse Floats Picture
Burning of the Horse Floats
Makko Kagura Dance Picture
Mokko Society's Ceremony

Events
(4.) Tsugaru City Fireworks Display
     Every year towards the end of July, a spectacular display of over 2,000 fireworks brighten the clear summer sky of Tsugaru City. The location of the display rotates each year between either Magua Beach , where the Cheseborough Cup takes place, or the Tsugaru Chikyu Mura Ampitheatre.
Fireworks Picture Yosakoi Dancers Picture Fireworks Picture
Fireworkds Display and Yosakoi Dancers

Events
(5.) Mushi Okuri
     Mushi Okuri is an ancient Japanese tradition meant to drive away crop-eating insects and pray for a bountiful harvest. The tradition has its beginnings over 250 years ago when a swarm of locusts devastated area rice crops. The tradition consists of creating gmushi,h or ginsectsh in English, which is done by carving dragon heads from wood and then creating bodies using rice straw. Tsugaru City residents then carry their creations in a vibrant procession throughout the city.
Praying Before Procession Picture
Praying Before Procession
Mushi Okuri Dance Picture
Mushi Okuri Dance
Wood and Straw Mushi Picture
Wood and Rice Straw Mushi
Mushi Okuri Procession
Mushi Okuri Procession
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