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Context:

このお祭りは、380年以上前、神社の場所が移ることを祝って木の車に太鼓をのせて町を歩いたことから始まりました
Over 380 years ago this festival originated from celebrating the move of the shrine and walking through town carrying a drum on a wooden cart.
7日は、馬に乗った武士や昔の人の格好で歩く子どもたちに続いて、19台の山車が引かれて行きました。
On the 7th it continued to children who walked in the guise of people from olden times and warriors on horse back, and 19 parade floats were pulled along.

When I started to ask this question I had no idea how to understand に続いて. My current guess is that に続いて pairs with 始まりました from the previous sentence, i.e. the festival originated (始まる) from doing X but continues (続く) to this day by doing Y.

Have I understood this correctly? If I'm right it feels a bit strange that a specific date is given rather the just 今 or この頃 or something like that. Obviously I can understand that they want to tell us what date the festival was, but my English translation seems awkward. I wonder how natural the Japanese is?

  • in the guise of --> dressed up like – virmaior Jul 9 at 2:14
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This seems to me to be the 'set expression' use of に続いて, to mean "following" or "in the wake of" or similar (I suppose if you wanted a semi-structural translation, you could say 'continuing on from'?). To take your translation:

7日は、馬に乗った武士や昔の人の格好で歩く子どもたちに続いて、19台の山車が引かれて行きました。

On the 7th, in the wake of the children who walked in the guise of people from olden times and warriors on horse back, 19 parade floats were pulled along.

I don't have a good sense if this is awkward in Japanese, but that interpretation could work with what the video clip is showing too.

  • It's adverbial. So obvious now. Thanks. – user3856370 Jul 9 at 7:27

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