Nebuta Matsuri is celebrated in both Aomori and Hirosaki. The greatest attractions of the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri are the gorgeous and colorful three-dimensional nebuta designed after warrior dolls such as Ushiwakamaru and Benkei, bearing some resemblance to Kabuki, and the very wild dances performed by participants called haneto who march and dance merrily to the sounds of drums and festival music. In contrast, the Hirosaki Nebuta Matsuri is characterized by the 60 small and large fan-shaped Nebuta with pictures depicted from 'Sangokushi' or 'Three Kingdom Saga' and 'Suikoden' or 'Outlaws of the Marsh,' both of which are heroic legends handed down in China. The triumphant parade of Nebuta floats through the streets of Hirosaki in the late afternoon is particularly worth seeing.
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