The people of Tokyo were treated to a traditionally southern spectacle on sunday (29 July) when six boats from Nagasaki city made their first appearance on the Sumida River.
SV ZOOM TO GV: Start of race on Tokyo's Sumida River checkered flag down and boats with crew off.
SV: Boat crew rowing as drummer sets packs. (2 shots)
GV: Boat up river past bridge at halfway mark.
SV: Newsmen observing race.
GV: Two crews racing down river.
LV AND GV: race continues.
SV: Newsmen filming race.
GV: Crew in white finish race and raise oars.
SV: Winning team rows into harbour at end of race. (2 shots)
SPORT: 'PERON' BOAT RACING
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Background: The people of Tokyo were treated to a traditionally southern spectacle on sunday (29 July) when six boats from Nagasaki city made their first appearance on the Sumida River. Thousands turned out to cheer the boats as the raced along the river, which runs through the capital city.
SYNOPSIS: The flag is lowered and the Nagasaki boats take off town the Sumida river.
The boats -- each manned by thirty-three rowers are called 'Peron'. Like Hong Kong's colourful 'dragon races' the Peron boating tradition came to Nagasaki from China. The results of Nagasaki's first race were recorded in 1655 and since then the races have increased in popularity becoming major events in the district.
Each boat is about fourteen metres long (46 feet). They're equipped with strange sounding gongs and the rowers stroke to the beat.
Nagasaki's Peron teams have won international fame at Hong Kong's annual dragon rave -- and one team even walked away with the winning trophy in 1977.
The organisers were pleased with the response of the Tokyo spectators -- and promised that the Peron races ??? will soon become an annual event in Tokyo.
So the winning team had the satisfaction of taking first place in the rave and winning thousands of new converts to the ancient sport.