FUKUSHIMA--Smiles were the order of the day as the 35th Fukushima Festival of Arts and Sciences opened on Aug. 3 in Fukushima Prefecture, as optimism replaced gloom and doom over the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
About 12,600 high school students from across the country will participate in 15 events, including chorus, arts and crafts, igo, shogi and traditional Ogura Hyakunin-isshu karuta competition.
Participants will compete in 13 venues until Aug. 7.
An executive committee consisting of teachers and students has prepared for the festival, dubbed an "inter-high" of cultural sector in contrast to the national inter-high school athletic event, for more than a year.
Initially, 20,000 students were expected to participate in 23 events, but some events were canceled or their venues changed.
The grand-opening ceremony will be held on Aug. 4 in Aizuwakamatsu in the prefecture.
About 3,200 high school students in Fukushima Prefecture support the festival as steering committee members.
At Fukushima Airport, four students at the prefecture's Sukagawa High School welcomed participants who came by plane.
"Please do your best," the Sukagawa students cheered their counterparts from Hyogo Prefecture.
At JR Koriyama Station in Fukushima Prefecture, Saki Nezumida and Hikaru Takeda, both 17 and from the prefectural Asaka Kaisei High School, were waiting for participants to arrive.
"Many people are coming all the way to Fukushima (Prefecture), which was hard struck by the earthquake," Nezumida said. "I am a bit nervous, but I will welcome them with a smile."
(This article was written by Yasuhito Watanabe and Kenichiro Saito.)
- « Prev
- Next »