The Doronko Matsuri, or “mud festival,” is at risk of being lost forever. Photo: Handout

In Japan’s dying countryside, ancient festivals struggle to live

Shrinking rural communities have put the future of many traditional celebrations in doubt

Topic |   Japan

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The Doronko Matsuri, or “mud festival,” is at risk of being lost forever. Photo: Handout
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Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Japan 24 years after he first arrived, but he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He lives in Yokohama with his wife and children and writes for publications around the world.