In the 13th year of Tempo , I saw the Tanabata Matsuri at Noshiro in Akita. The event was called "nemuta-nagashi" and featured human figures. They were about 3 jo [10 meters] in length and 3 ken [6 meters] square, and depicted things like Empress Jingu's unification of the Three Korean states. They were lit with candles and pulled on carts. The people there played bells, drums, and trumpet shells, and danced. Though quite unusual, I am told this is also done in Hirosaki and Kuroishi in Tsugaru, as well as in Aomori.
Today, the nebuta in Noshiro don't depict human figures; they are instead modeled after Nagoya Castle! About seven or eight floats – similar in size to those used in Aomori – are paraded through the city streets for the festival.