Sunday, October 9, 2011

09/10 Town near nuclear plant holds Latin American music festival


photoChildren in Latin costumes dance down a street of Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 8 as the three-day folklore festival Cosquin en Japan kicks off. (Toshiyuki Takeya)photoChildren in Latin American costumes join the Cosquin en Japon festival in the town of Kawamata, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 8. (Toshiyuki Takeya)
KAWAMATA, Fukushima Prefecture -- About 1,000 people joined a parade in Kawamata, a town that lies partially within the no-entry zone of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, to open a Latin American music festival on Oct. 8.
Kawamata officials had feared they would be forced to call off the Cosquin en Japon Festival this year because of the accident at the nuclear plant.
However, support from across Japan prompted the town to hold the annual folklore event, a Kawamata official said.
Some participants in the parade showed up in Latin American costumes while others played the traditional "quena" flute.
A Kawamata resident started the festival in 1975 after gaining the participation of 13 groups from around Japan. Now, about 160 groups take part in the event, including Latin American students studying in Japan and overseas organizations.

The town says the Cosquin en Japon Festival is the largest Latin American event held in Japan.
The name of the festival derives from Cosquin city in Argentina, where a 10-day Latin American folklore music festival is held in January every year.
The Kawamata festival will run through Oct. 10.

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