Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Children's Matsuri



Today, May 5th, is Children's Day in Japan. In Kawado, the village across the river, it is also the day of the year's most important ceremony and matsuri, the Suijin Matsuri, and in the morning the kids have their own parade.

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It begins in the local shrine, where a longer ceremony will take place this afternoon.

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The kids are purified and the Kami invited to attend.

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The float pulled by the kids has a family of Kappa, or Enko as they are known locally. Soon I will get around to posting the local story about Enko.

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The kids taking part are young as the local schools have baseball matches today, and for many young boys baseball is more important.

The birthrate in the countryside is fairly healthy. It's the people of the cities who are having few babies. Hardly surprising.

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After the ceremony the lightweight "mikoshi" is carried down to where the float waits and the procession heads off around the village.

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