Samurai warriors' festival near Tokyo re-enacts 16th century battle

About 500 people dressed as samurai warriors took part in a festival to honor a famous 16th century warlord in Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo.

The event on Sunday in the town of Yorii commemorated Hojo Ujikuni, a local hero. The town's Hachigata Castle was once a base for his army. Nowadays the site of the castle is designated as a national historic landmark.

Participants paraded through the town, wearing samurai armor, "kabuto" helmets and holding mock swords.

The festival featured a re-enactment of the 16th century battle between Hojo's men and the much bigger army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi on a riverbank, against the backdrop of mock cannon fire.

With only 3,500 men, the Hojo army was said to have been outnumbered by Toyotomi's 50,000 or so warriors.

One spectator said, "It was fun, and I was also able to enjoy a bit of the history." Another said, "it was so impressive."