Soma-Nomaoi is a festival that recreates a battle scene from more than 1,000 years ago. It is annually held for 4 days from July 22 to 25 in Haramachi City, Fukushima Prefecture, in the eastern part of Japan. In this historical event, 600 mounted samurai in traditional Japanese armor, with long swords at their side and ancestral flagstaffs streaming from their backs, ride across open fields. Soma-Nomaoi has been designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.
Photo: A young woman (C) clad in samurai costume leads other local poeple as she rides her horse during a parade at the annual Soma Nomaoi festival in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 28, 2012. The traditional full-scale festival kicked off for the first time after the accident of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant following the massive earthquake and the tsunami on March 11, 2011. (Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP Photo)