Akita

Akita City

Akita City (AH-KEY-TAH) with a population of 323,000 is situated in mid-west  Akita Prefecture with the Dewa Mountains to the east and the Japan Sea on the west. Senshu Park created from the ruins of Kubota Castle, old temples and shrines, wealthy farmers’ residences, and blocks of the old city reflect the rich history of Akita. The moat in Senshu Park is covered with lotus flowers grown from 2000 year-old seeds.

The new Port Tower Selion, a 143 meter city symbol, rises above a large fish market and affords a view of Akita City and a place to watch the sun setting over the Japan Sea. The ”Events in Akita” a 3.65 meter by 20.5m painting by Tsuguhara Fujita, the largest painting of the 20th century, is exhibited at the Hirano Museum.

 

 

Kanto Poles

During the Akita Kanto Festival, performers carry a 50 kilogram “Kanto pole” with lighted lanterns and dance through the streets. The long main bamboo pole is held upright with nine bamboo poles attached horizontally to the main pole on which 46 lanterns are suspended, each representing golden ears of rice and a prayer for a good harvest. Those injured from carrying the heavy load boast of their scars.

 

On the second Sunday of June at the Kashima Festival, paper dolls made by various families are sent to Hiyoshi Shrine in a small boat made of reeds. These are prayers for children to grow up strong and healthy. At the Taiheizan Miyoshi Shrine, established in 673 AD, people pray for success in business, family prosperity, and winning in life.

 

Akita City, along with other regional cities, is experiencing a population decline as young people migrate to the metro areas. Buddhist temples mirror this population drain. There are not enough families in each community to support the temple. Priests are forced to seek part time employment and sons who usually follow in their father’s footsteps are finding other employment rather than becoming a priest.

 

Prayer requests:

  •  Pray for the light of the gospel to spread through the city with many receiving the gift of salvation in Christ.
  •  Pray for the children to have an opportunity to hear the Truth of the gospel and experience the peace and joy of knowing Christ as they grow up strong and healthy.
  •  Pray that just as the 2000 year old seeds produced flowers that cover the moat in Akita that the blood that Christ sacrificed over 2000 years ago will cover the people’s sin and producing eternal life in those who accept Him.

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