YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- A group of Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni got a taste of the samurai life Sunday during the annual Kuragake Castle Festival in Kuga.
The festival honors local samurai from the 16th century who urged the lord of their castle to take one last stand against a large enemy force. The Marines donned authentic samurai armor, paraded through Kuga's streets and took part in a re-enactment of the famous battle.
"The Marines are so professional with their behavior and marching," festival participant Nobuhiro Higuchi said in a Marine Corps statement. "All of the Marines looked like they enjoyed being in costume, and I heard a lot of chit-chat out in town of people saying, ‘I want to take a picture with them,' or ‘they look so cool.'"
After the re-enactment, the American "samurai" took off their armor and enjoyed food and drinks with Japanese locals in the Kuga community.
Officials encourage more Marines to participate in Japanese celebrations, the statement said.
"The community cherishes the traditions here," event coordinator Tatsumari Fujioka said. "I hope more Marines come out to this community and enjoy our culture. It's a nice community with nice people as well."