KAGOSHIMA, JAPAN – To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Sakurajima Taisho eruption, Kagoshima is hosting the Friends of Volcano Fair.
Rhythmic thumping drew me out of the conference center to the front garden, where I was treated to a drum performance called Sakurajima Hinoshima Taiko, or Sakurajima Island Drums of Fire.
Here’s a video of the drums in action:
Although there can be negative health effects for those who live near volcanoes, the fair highlighted many of the positive aspects to having Sakurajima as a neighbor. A product display called The Blessings from Volcanoes featured products made from volcanic materials. Local companies are making soaps and other products that exploit the abrasive properties of ash. There were also some novel uses of shirasu (volcanic ejecta) that were new to me.
Although the fair was focused on Sakurajima, it also offered an opportunity to highlight some of Kagoshima’s other attractions, like the aquarium.