Tuesday, 5 July 2011

yochien matsuri

Sunday was Ebi-kun's yochien matsuri (festival), his yochien is attached to a Shinto shrine and the head sensei is also the shrine priest. He gave a speech and said that he had read recently that children these days give up too easily and don't understand the importance of working in a team and so carrying the mikoshi (portable shrine) in the hot weather was a team and character building exercise. 
preparing the mikoshi (portable shrines) the one one the left is the
daddy shrine and the one on the right for  the moms.
The older kids waiting for the little ones before the opening ceremony
it was already hot by 9am but luckily it clouded over so it
wasn't as bad as the previous year.
They start with the parents taking their  mikoshi around the yard then the kids take
theirs through the neighbourhood town to the local community centre.
I have a sneaky suspicion that it is actually the parents taking the load!
The mikoshi is HEAVY inside is a representation of the shrine kami (god). The kids took
a couple of breaks on the way. The other boy in this picture is Ebi-kun's best friend.
water break and rest at the community centre
on the way back! As the mikoshi is being carried everyone shouts 'washoi, washoi'
back at the yochien we had another water break then the moms and dads got
their mikoshi out again, the guys in the long coast and white pants are the
'professional' mikoshi carriers, they will carrier the big mikoshi in the city festival.
Then the kids do another couple of laps
It is quite impressive with them all shouting,  look how little the kids
with the purple caps are! Once they had finished it was photos and
the closing ceremony. 
the mikoshi they use for the city festival was out on display
I am pretty sure that everything attached has some kind of significant meaning
I'm not sure what though!
The kids went to get changed and the parents did their jobs, each class has an
assigned job, this year our job was to dismantle the daddy and mommy mikoshi

and put it all away, ready for next year.

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