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Photos: Festivals in Japan: Lifeline of a nation As autumn deepens, harvest festivals are being held across Japan. People carry around miniature shrines, parade through the streets with beautiful floats, or dance to traditional music to celebrate the harvest season. Since ancient times, festivals have played an important role in the life of the Japanese people, who carried on collective farming for many centuries. Today, relationships among people have been weakened in the course of modernization, and it seems like local communities no longer exist in urban areas. However, people in many cities still celebrate traditional festivals just like old days. The Mainichi introduces various festivals from across the country that spice up people's lives from season to season. November 10, 2009

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