Akita fireworks festival held for 1st time in 3 years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fireworks are seen in Daisen, Akita Prefecture, during the Omagari National Fireworks Competition on Saturday.

DAISEN, Akita — About 18,000 fireworks illuminated the night sky as a prominent festival was held in Daisen, Akita Prefecture, on Saturday for the first time in three years.

At the 94th Omagari National Fireworks Competition, pyrotechnicians from around the nation competed with each other on the banks of the Omono River. Three displaced Ukrainians who are now living in Daisen were invited to the event.

The festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. This year, it took place with 40% fewer spectator seats than before the pandemic.

Twenty-eight fireworks companies from throughout the nation took part, attracting spectators with their massive displays. Organizers also launched about 2,000 fireworks over a six-minute period.

According to the organizers, the fireworks event was intended to convey a message to people who have struggled amid the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other global woes that “dawn will surely come if we move forward with faith in the future.”