Two horses die of heatstroke at Fukushima festival

TOKYO, Aug 08 (News On Japan) - Two horses participating in the Soma Nomaoi festival in Fukushima Prefecture last month died of possible heatstroke, TV Asahi reports.

This year's Soma Nomaoi festival took place over three days starting from July 29, while on the second day Soma City experienced a scorching hot day.

According to reports from Minamisoma City where the festival took place, 83 people were assisted with heatstroke symptoms over the three days, nearly four times more than last year.

The organizing committee of Nomaoi is considering changing the schedule to a cooler season.

The Soma Nomaoi festival is a traditional Japanese festival that takes place annually in the city of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture. It is a unique and dynamic event that combines elements of samurai culture, equestrian skills, and Shinto rituals.

The festival has a history dating back over a thousand years and is said to have originated from samurai training exercises and military drills. It was also influenced by ancient samurai horse races and hunting practices. The name "Nomaoi" roughly translates to "wild horse chase."

During the Soma Nomaoi festival, participants, often dressed in samurai armor, ride on horseback in various ceremonies and competitions.