Matsuri and The Children’s Omikoshi

The October Village Festival in our neighborhood takes place later in the year than most festivals in Tokyo and Kawasaki.  As with most other Japanese Festivals the people celebrate the task of transporting the “OMikoshi” around the community.  The “Mikoshi” or Divine Palanquin is a vehicle for transport of Deities and the movement of the “Mikoshi” Annually is essential to the practice of the Shinto Religion.   It is in many ways the glue the binds a Community and an opportunity to contribute and be recognized. 

This year our family’s participation fell literally on the shoulders of our 9 Year Old Daughter.  She dawned a Blue Happi Coat & joined a group of 50 Children to carry the OMikoshi around four City Blocks.  The endeavor lasted about one hour inclusive of a 20 minute recess for traditional Japanese treats and juice.  The break was sponsored by both the local Sake Store and Soba Noodle Shop.   Upon return to Community Square the children had the opportunity to participate in carnival games, purchase chocolate bananas and yaki tori.  (The local children’s club run the retail booths and profits are well used.)   

Members of the Community contribute donations to the Festival Organization and are recognized by signs posted on street placards.  This is an effective advertisement as I was thanked for my modest donation at least half a dozen times by members of the neighborhood.  Several of the local leadership asked if I’d be interested in joining the group carrying the Main Omikoshi next year.  We’ll see.  (It might be unavoidable.)

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