Fire also plays a part in the annual Aso Fire Festival in March. Writes the Japan Times: "The main attraction is the dai himonjiyaki, an event in which the mountain grass on Ojo peak (one of the five peaks of Mount Aso) is set on fire in order to form the shape of the kanji 'hi' (fire). The 350-meter-tall flaming kanji is the largest of its kind in Japan. This ritual burning is called noyaki, which refers to the practice of setting fire to the plains in order to keep the grass in good condition."
Other parts of the ceremony involve locals burning pine torches while they pray for a rich harvest.