Blog of Orbray Co., Ltd.

Yuzawa Lantern Festival 

   Last Modified:    Published: 2024/01

Yuzawa Factory Chiaki Sakakibara

The Yuzawa Lantern Festival was held on January 2, 2024, at the Inagawa Ski Resort in Yuzawa City.

Organized by Yuzawa City and the From-project (a.k.a. Fro-pro), the event was designed for university students from Yuzawa City. When students who have left Yuzawa City return to their hometown for the New Year, they can learn about and enjoy the charms of the region and their hometown with friends and family. Some 60 people, including university students, participated.

Two years ago, Orbray sponsored the-Fro-pro project, in which university students help high school students think about what they want to do in life, and learn how to resolve various problems so that they can achieve their goals. We felt that the Fro-pro activities were meaningful for the spiritual growth of Akita's high school students, and we highly valued the efforts of the university students. So in response to a request from the secretariat of Fro-pro, we decided to help with the lantern festival.

We also participated in the festival. We didn't just fly lanterns, we also held a workshop where participants of all ages thought about their own aspirations for 2024. We also asked them what they would like to leave behind for Yuzawa City's future, and why. We talked about it at each table. It was a little difficult for the elementary school children who participated, but they mentioned “delicious foods such as Inaniwa udon!” At my table, we had a lively conversation about festivals, young people, and Yuzawa’s status as a “music town.”

At the end of the workshop, the long-awaited lanterns appeared.

Each lantern was basically a square white paper bag, about 40 cm in size, with a balloon and an LED inside, which would light up when aloft. The lantern had a string attached to it, so it could be flown like a kite. Afterward, visitors could take theirs home and enjoy them further.

Before flying the lanterns, we asked participants to use the lantern paper to write or draw a picture about the ideas they came up with during the workshop. Then we were ready to fly! Everyone went outside and raised their lanterns in unison to the cue of Disney's Rapunzel music. A strong breeze arose, but otherwise the weather was good. Under the starry sky, the sight of all the lanterns was very beautiful, even magical.

Thinking and creating together with companions is fun regardless of age. I think this could be applied to the planning of in-house events.
Best of all, the participants took the workshop seriously while having fun, and it was a meaningful time for the children as well.
I will continue to cherish the relationship with Fro-pro, so that we can work together for the future of Yuzawa and promote the wonderful qualities of Yuzawa City. The event also reminded me how important it is for both children and adults to "give it a try" and participate.

Impressions from the Secretariat

Yokote Factory Yuki Yamashita

Orbray helped with preparations from the morning of the festival. Various problems ensued, but everyone responded flexibly to make the event a success.
Not only the participants but also the secretariat flew lanterns at the event.
We were worried that a sudden strong wind would cause the lantern strings to become entangled, but we were able to fly the lanterns without incident.
When we all lifted the lanterns at once, such a beautiful sight made everyone smile, which made us very happy.
It was a great experience to be able to enjoy everything from the preparation to the magnificent conclusion of the event.

Yuzawa city homepage.

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