The objective is to balance the kanto steady enough so that the candles in the paper lanterns don't go out.

The performer has to move about deftly whenever there is a gust of wind or when the pole starts to bend over. After attaining a steady balance, the skillful technician shifts the pole to other parts of his body while his surrounding colleagues clap and shout "Dokkoisho! Dokkoisho!"

Occasionally, someone loses his balance and the pole and lanterns come crashing down on the power lines, safety ropes, or right on the crowd. When I was there, one came crashing down on the crowd I was in. We all screamed. But it was surprisingly harmless. All the lanterns flamed out and some lanterns had holes. The lanterns were just relit and raised again. Falling kanto added real drama.

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