Sanja Matsuri, held in May in Asakusa, Tokyo will be a changed event in 2008.
The Asakusa Shrine Association has decided to get tough with local gangsters and cancel the honja mikoshi and miyadashi parades of portable shrines as bearers, mostly members of Japan's yakuza, refused to comply with instructions from the association not to jump on and ride on top of the portable shrines.
Seven bearers who rode on the mikoshi have so far been arrested by Tokyo police, having been identified from video footage.
The Asakusa Shrine Association has previously warned the bearer groups that jumping on the portable shrines and turning their buttocks to the mikoshi is an insult to the gods. The annual event draws over a million visitors.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007