Kumamoto: Giant Float of Kumamon Paraded at Festival

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A float depicting Kumamon on a motorcycle is paraded in Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Sept. 3.

YAMATO, Kumamoto — Ten huge floats made of tree bark, pine cones and other natural materials were the main attraction of a parade that took place earlier this month in Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture.

The Otsukurimono floats, which can reach up to 5 meters tall, were paraded at the Hassaku Festival, which dates back about 260 years. The floats were created by groups of volunteers from shopping districts, schools, workplaces and other entities to pray for a good harvest. The floats are themed on popular characters or reflect key moments from the year, and are later evaluated by a panel of judges who assess their appearance and quality.

Yomiuri Shimbun photos
Various floats

On Sept. 3, various floats including one depicting Kumamon, the prefecture’s widely loved mascot, were paraded on wagons through the streets crowded with tourists.