Hakata Dontaku Festival Back in Full Swing for 1st Time in 4 Years

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Thousands of performers in colorful costumes parade down the street Wednesday in Fukuoka’s annual Hakata Dontaku Minato Matsuri festival, which is being held on a full scale for the first time in four years. Organizers estimate that the first day of the two-day event attracted a crowd of about 1 million people, or 80% of pre-pandemic turnout in 2019. After being canceled in 2020 and 2021, the festival was held in 2022 on a scale one-half the usual, with people discouraged from attending. A 14-year-old junior high school student, who said she wore a mask during last year’s parade, said, “It’s been awhile since I participated with my face uncovered. Many people applauded us and it was fun.”