MIYAKO, Iwate Prefecture -- People displaced by the Great East Japan Earthquake prepared for Bon, Japan's traditional festival of the dead, on Aug. 7 by burning pine roots in front of temporary homes in the grounds of the Greenpia Sanriku Miyako hotel.
The local ritual, called "matsuakashi," is conducted to welcome the spirits of the dead.
According to Buddhist teaching, the spirits of the dead return to their families during the Bon festival.
The March 11 quake and tsunami killed about 500 people in Miyako and 130 people were missing as of late July. The city has a population of about 60,000 people.
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