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.|