Friday, October 17, 2008

day 290 - NADA!

On our last day with Helen and Ray we took them to the famous Nada no Kenka Matsuri, the Nada Fighting Festival, when neighbouring towns display their beautifully-decorated portable shrines or yatai (which can weigh as much as 2 tons!) and carry them to the top of a nearby mountain. The day began with the blessing of the yatai at the shrine by shinto priests, right next to Shirahama Shogakko where I taught at the beginning of our year here.

An early morning group-bonding dance at Matsubara Hachiman Shrine before the blessing of the yatai and the hard work ahead. Later the yatai bearers and supporters will wear coloured bandanas to indicate their age and matsuri experience.

A shishi poses for the camera.

Many hands. They may not make light work, but they make lifting possible.

Time for a break.

The young boy on dad's shoulders has so much to take in...

Yatai embroidery detail.

Father and son.