OSAKA (TR) – Two years ago, officials with Kishiwada City revised legislation to exclude organized crime members from public events, particularly the popular Danjiri Matsuri, held each year in late summer.
Thus far, the initiative is not going smoothly. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun (May 28), about 4,000 promotional posters for this year’s event have been recalled after it was revealed that a person included in a photograph taken last year is a gang member.
On May 25, the Kishiwada Police Station confirmed with organizers of the event that one of the photographs used in the poster shows a member of the Yamaken-gumi, the core gang of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, which is based in Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture.
After police deemed the appearance of the gangster as “inappropriate,” the city ordered the recall of the posters. “There is concern that there may be conflict considering the municipal ordinance that stipulates the exclusion of gangsters from the festival,” the police said.
Every year, between 400,000 and 600,000 revelers gather for the festival. To be held this year on September 16 and 17, the event features locals attired in colorful happi coats swiftly pulling large wood floats through the streets.