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Samurai re-enactors, including Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, give one last war cry before marching off at the Kuragake Castle Festival Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Kuga, Iwakuni, Japan. The festival honors the local Kuga samurai who urged their castle lord to take a last stand against a much larger enemy force.

Samurai re-enactors, including Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, give one last war cry before marching off at the Kuragake Castle Festival Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Kuga, Iwakuni, Japan. The festival honors the local Kuga samurai who urged their castle lord to take a last stand against a much larger enemy force. (Aaron Henson/U.S. Marine Corps)

Samurai re-enactors, including Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, give one last war cry before marching off at the Kuragake Castle Festival Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Kuga, Iwakuni, Japan. The festival honors the local Kuga samurai who urged their castle lord to take a last stand against a much larger enemy force.

Samurai re-enactors, including Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, give one last war cry before marching off at the Kuragake Castle Festival Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Kuga, Iwakuni, Japan. The festival honors the local Kuga samurai who urged their castle lord to take a last stand against a much larger enemy force. (Aaron Henson/U.S. Marine Corps)

Pfc. Jacob A. Farbo, from left to right, a combat photographer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Cpl. Carlos Cruz, H&HS mass communicator, Lance Cpl. Nathan Wicks, H&HS mass communicator, Sgt. Antonio Rubio, H&HS mass communicator, and Sgt. Mitchell Flowers, H&HS combat camera production specialist, march as samurai during the Kuragake Castle Festival in Kuga, Iwakuni, Japan, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.

Pfc. Jacob A. Farbo, from left to right, a combat photographer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Cpl. Carlos Cruz, H&HS mass communicator, Lance Cpl. Nathan Wicks, H&HS mass communicator, Sgt. Antonio Rubio, H&HS mass communicator, and Sgt. Mitchell Flowers, H&HS combat camera production specialist, march as samurai during the Kuragake Castle Festival in Kuga, Iwakuni, Japan, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (Aaron Henson/U.S. Marine Corps)

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.”

news@stripes.com

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