The Marimo-Matsuri festival is held annually in Hokkaido,to celebrate the small aquatic moss balls known as marimo balls which live in Lake Akan. The marimo were made national treasures in 1920 but their numbers began to suffer when Lake Akan was dammed and due to a large number of people removing the balls to keep as souvenirs. There is a belief that marimo are extremely lucky and that if cared for properly can grant wishes. Environmentalists called for people to return their marimo to the lake and were met by astonishing support, many marimo being released back into the lake. To celebrate this generosity the festival was established, where marimo are removed from the lake for the duration of the event and returned at the end. Ancient Ainu traditions are incorporated with the ceremonies and traditional dances are held - in the attached photo a group of Ainu people in traditional dress watch one such dance.
Gekidan Inu Curry are an animation troupe famous for their designs of the witches and the witches’ otherworld in Puella Magi Madoka☆Magica. Their techniques draw inspiration from Russian animation and Czech animation. They utilize stop-motion animation and coloring that resembles hand-drawn illustrations.
Their pen names are 2shiroinu (2白犬) and Doroinu (泥犬). 2shiroinu, or Ayumi Shiraishi (白石 亜由美), is a former Gainax animator. Doroinu, or Yousuke Anai, worked at Tanto Do-GA Studio. (source)