Daimyou Honenji at the Ikegami Oeshiki
At the annual oeshiki festival to honor the buddhist saint Nichiren at Tokyo’s Ikegami temple there’s teams joining from affiliated temples from all over Japan. One of the teams was this hardcore group from Kanagawa prefecture’s Daimyou Honenji who featured some excellent matai acrobatics! It’s amazing to see this guys and girls putting all their effort in showing off their skills and trying to outperform each other with these long poles of wood. Some twirl them around their bodies, almost laying flat on the ground, other do it behind their backs and one guy in this team even threw it in the air, having the strips reach the top of the arch and freeze for a split second while the pole itself stopped in mid air, all the while turning. Of course he caught it perfectly! To back these lay members of the temple up there are dozens of people joining in on drums, flutes and chanting, making for a very noisy festival. It is hard to believe they are celebrating the anniversary of their patron saint’s death!