There aren’t many people as important in the history of Japan as Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was the man who, in 1603, seized power over the whole country as he launched the Tokugawa Shogunate, which lasted until the Meiji Restoration in 1868.

Since he is such a major historical figure, Ieyasu is often the focus of modern celebrations. On April 7, the people of Okazaki in present-day Aichi Prefecture, where he was born in 1543, will commemorate the shogun with a parade. It should be a great opportunity to see a captivating slice of Japanese history.

The parade doesn’t feature floats or bands, but instead will have samurai marching the streets portrayed by volunteers who signed up for duty earlier in the year.

Participants will gather at Iga Hachimangu Shrine and depart from there at 1:30 p.m. They will make their way down Route 39 toward Yasuo North Intersection. From there they will turn left and march through the town before eventually reaching Meiji Bridge and Higashi Okazaki Station. The parade will end at the Otogawa River.

A re-enactment of the pivotal Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 will take place by the river, and will feature the shooting of authentic Japanese muskets. Afterward, there will be traditional yosakoi dancing and a fireworks display.

The Tokugawa Ieyasu Parade takes place in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, on April 7. For more information, visit www.okazaki-kanko.jp (in Japanese).

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