The coastal area of Miyagi Prefecture received a devastating blow during the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. A summer festival was started in 2011 to pray for and memorialise the people who passed away in conjunction with the Obon Festival in Matsushima Town, one of the three most scenic spots of Japan.
The festival created seems both nostalgic and new, and offers the fun, bustling atmosphere of a festival that naturally brings smiles to both adults and children while carefully memorialising the dead in sacred Matsushima.
The focus of the festival is the Osegakie and Toro Nagashi at Zuiganji Temple, events that have been conducted for 700 years. On the coast of Matsushima, Kyogi Toba wooden plaques with sutras are lit and 50 Buddhist monks conduct a service. In addition, there is a Bon Festival dance, taiko drumming performances, Toro Nagashi in which floating lanterns are lit and placed on the water, and fireworks to memorialise the dead.