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Newly married man thrown into deep snow in traditional event in central Japan

Newly married Tomohiro Aizawa is seen being thrown into deep snow in Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, on Jan. 15, 2021. (Mainichi/Yukio Itahana)

TOKAMACHI, Niigata -- A traditional event where a newly married man is thrown into deep snow in celebration was held on Jan. 15 at the Matsunoyama Onsen hot spring resort in this central Japan city.

    Tomohiro Aizawa, a 31-year-old public servant in the city, was the only participant this year as the event was scaled back due to the coronavirus outbreak. The tradition is believed to have originated in the Edo period where it was conducted as a way for locals to get even with a man who had taken away one of the village daughters to marry.

    The snow around the venue was 3 meters deep. Clouds of white powder burst into the air as Aizawa was thrown into snow from a temple hall on the top of a hill. When Aizawa later waded through the snow to his wife, 35-year-old Miku, at the bottom of the hill, they both flashed smiles. "We want to build a happy family," they commented.

    (Japanese original by Yukio Itahana, Minamiuonuma Local Bureau)

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