Yamanashi: Kofu samurai gathering returns after three years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kofu-bayashi is performed on a special stage at Maizuru Castle Park in Kofu on Oct. 30.

KOFU —The annual Shingen-ko Festival, referred to as “the largest samurai parade in the world,” was held for the first time in over three years at Maizuru Castle Park in Kofu. The event, celebrating the virtues of local warlord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573), ran for three days until Oct. 30.

On a special stage, the city’s 150-year-old traditional Kofu-bayashi performance, featuring drum and flute players, was on display. Eight songs were performed, including the rhythmic “Koshu Iwai Taiko,” receiving a round of applause from the audience.

“Flute and drum performances in the festival are vital,” said Shigeru Kasai, 74, who chairs the group to preserve the Kofu-bayashi. “It’s been a while since we were able to perform in front of so many people.”

The event also featured a comedy gig and an appearance from Hello Kitty.