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Sapporo Snow Festival
Or Rise & Fall of Japan's Democracy?
Date:30, Nov, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello, I'm talking about Sapporo Snow Festival here today. It is the large-scale festival featuring a lot of snow sculptures held in Sapporo city, Hokkaido. Every year, they hold in early February. Since 1950 that it first went, they say it has called many visitors (over 2 million people!) every year. And they just held as calling no visitors (people could watch the sculptures on internet) in 2021 for the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2022, it is said they are about to hold at nowhere but the Odori Park in Sapporo.



Odori Park
File: Odori Park Sapporo Snow Festival 2007.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Feb. 12, 2007)



Sapporo Snow Festival 2007 (night)
File: SapporoFestival6.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on Feb. 2, 2007)

Internationally, people say "democracy is fading away in Japan" today. And as a Japanese, I cannot show you valid counterargument at once. The Guardian reported that Osaka people highly voted for the right-wing party (Ishin-no kai) in 2021. I live in Osaka, didn't vote for them and felt kind of disconsolate for the result. By the way, you can also find the "democracy is fading away in Japan" with the history of Sapporo Snow Festival.

In 1950 that it was first held, they say the main was snow sculptures made by the local youth belonging to jr. high school or high school. Japan lost at the World War 2 in 1945, the U.S. got to manage us. And they gave democracy to Japanese people. I guess then local youth could act as the main role of the festival for the given democracy. But I suppose democracy hardly incarnated Japanese people, since they only got it by chance. It was not what they won after fighting. Easy come, easy go.

Today the festival mostly shows the snow sculptures made for publicity of the companies. They have decreased the space for the local instead although they so apply, it is said. Democracy is fading away in Japan. And probably, Sapporo Snow Festival implicitly tells us "business drives out democracy."





 

さっぽろ雪まつり
またはデモクラシーの興亡・北国篇

ひろしまフラワーフェスティバル
または、広島に戦後なにが起こったのか