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Japan Photo Journal: Peace moves

(Mainichi/Daisuke Wada)

A girl makes a peace sign as she dances during the Iwaki Kaiten Yagura festival in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Aug. 15, 2019, the last day of the event. The festival has been held every summer Obon period -- a holiday to pay one's respects to the dead -- since 1952, to remember workers killed in the mines when this area of northwestern Japan was still a major coalmining center. In recent years, the festival has also been used to mourn the victims of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. This year's edition, however, featured a more upbeat theme, as people danced to a new tune to celebrate the coming Tokyo 2020 Games, with dancers flashing the peace sign as part of the steps. In Iwaki Kaiten Yagura festivals, musicians play from an elevated bandstand while the participants dance in a slow circle around them.

    (Japanese original by Daisuke Wada, Photo Group, with additional reporting by Robert Sakai-Irvine, Staff Writer)

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