FUKUSHIMA — The Soma wild horse chase festival, a tradition dating back more than 1,000 years, resumed Saturday close to its usual size after being scaled down last year in the wake of the natural and nuclear disasters.
The three-day Soma Nomaoi event in Fukushima Prefecture re-creates the act of warriors honing their battleground skills by chasing unleashed wild horses cast as the enemy.
Last year, areas used in the event were turned into no-go zones due to the nuclear crisis, reducing the horse count to 82. Thanks to decontamination work and a redrawing of the hot zones, about 400 horses are expected this year, bringing the herd size back up to roughly 80 percent.
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