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Historical Description[]

Ancient cities Fukuoka and Hakata were allies throughout history. Fukuoka was the home of many Samurai, and Hakata was known for its port and merchant district. It was decided by both cities' politicians that it would be mutually beneficial to merge the cities and become one, but the method of which the name was decided seems to be up for speculation. Some say there was an even tie between the names, and the meeting’s organizer, a Samurai, ended voting for Fukuoka to split the tie, while others say Samurai invaded the voting meeting and forced the city to be named Fukuoka.

Modern day Fukuoka is Japan’s 6th largest city, and has earned the nickname “The Gateway to the Country”. One of the more unique celebrations in Fukuoka is the Yamakasa, a two week festival held annually in July, dating back to 1241. It celebrates the priest who saved Hakata from a plague, and modern day celebrations consist of a race between groups of men carrying floats that weigh thousands of pounds. Each day in the two week celebration has its own celebration, and participants are encouraged to wear Happi coats with the markings of the district they race for.

History[]

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