(Photo by The Tokyo Reporter, May 20, 2015)
TOKYO (TR) – Revelers will once again gather in the streets of Asakusa this weekend for the boisterous Sanja Matsuri, a Shinto festival dating back centuries.
Regularly attracting more than 1.5 million revelers, the festival features numerous mikoshi, or portable shrines, being carried by boisterous participants outfitted in traditional happi coats through the streets of the historic area of Asakusa in Taito Ward.
Among those on hand are members of the Asakusa Takahashi-gumi organized crime group. Despite the enactment of legislation in October of 2011 that seeks to restrict gang activities, the group manages to participate — sometimes with the assistance of the police — in the festivities.
The photo gallery shows members of the gang relaxing after carting a mikoshi through a neighborhood near the Asakusa View Hotel in 2015.