Bonden Festival

At the Bonden (or Bonten) Festival at Yokote in the Akita Prefecture of Japan, each district of the city has a team of young men to carry its bonden in a race to the Asahiokayama-jinja shrine.

The bonden is a ten-foot bamboo pole, draped with heavy cloth and topped by a platform holding a figure of the Animal of the Year. Those carrying the bonden gradually increase their pace until they are running, often pushing members of competing teams to the ground to be the first to the top. The team that arrives first wins the privilege

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