Imoni - Culture


In Yamagata Prefecture in particular, and its neighbours in general, imonikai (imoni get-togethers) are an important autumn tradition. Tourists flock to Yamagata for the Autumn Imoni Festival (Akino Imonikai) where they join local residents on the banks of the Mamigasaki River on the first Sunday in September, to eat imoni from a gigantic iron kettle, which uses a building crane to add ingredients and stir the pot. In 2009 the festival served imoni to 30,000 guests before the pot was empty.

Many schools and work organisations in Northern Japan arrange imonikai for their students or employees. Through September and October it is common to see groups of imonikai revellers on the banks of rivers, even near major highways.

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