KOFU, YAMANASHI PREF. – Some 780 history buffs in samurai attire re-enacted a famous battle from the mid-16th century Sunday in Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture.
The 1553 Battle of Kawanakajima actually took place in Nagano Prefecture, but because Fuefuki has a district with the same name, the city started the annual event depicting the famous battle between Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin 34 years ago to boost tourism.
Down by the Fuefuki River, the participants “battled” as drums and muzzle-loaded firearms roared in the background.
Masahiro Masuta, 39, who took part from Hyogo Prefecture and participated as a Uesugi warrior, looked happy and satisfied with the event. “Unlike real battles, everyone was smiling. There was one guy who even asked me to cut him down” so he can act a warrior’s death.
According to organizers, about 40 percent of the participants were women, apparently reflecting the recent willingness of more women to openly claim they are history buffs.