Tokyobling's Blog

Ikegami Oeshiki Ceremony – Kids

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on November 22, 2013

One of the things I love the most about Japanese festivals is that they are so multi-generational. Everyone gets a chance to join in and there is a place for everyone regardless of age or ability. One of the most exciting festivals in Tokyo is the massive Oeshiki buddhist ceremony at the huge Honmonji in Ikegami, Ota Ward in southern Tokyo. I took these photos of kids joining in, mimicking the adults with their matoi poles and ritual dancing. The kid’s versions are obviously much smaller but they still take it very seriously. Some of the kids are taped up like pro athletes! I can imagine that the constant twisting of the matoi poles can be very hard on fingers, hands and wrists. They also use a very fine talcum powder to get a proper grip on the poles, as the evening progresses the talcum tends to get everywhere! I found when I got home that evening that I too had been covered in a grey mist of powder! Even my camera was coated in it.

One little kid in particular caught my attention, too small to take part in the dancing the kid was still participating fully even from the pram!
















7 Responses

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  1. yoshizen said, on November 22, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Blimey ! In old days, there wasn’t a kid’s version.
    Matoi play was strictly for the grown-ups —– let alone for a baby !
    (I like that “war crying” baby. 🙂 )


  2. pk1154 said, on November 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Wow, that is one excited baby! 🙂


  3. C said, on November 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

    The last picture should go to a caption contest (a baby Asian William Shatner screaming Khaaan!). It would rock as an animated GIF too, but I guess you don’t sink to those lows 😀

    I actually like the photo just before. That kid seems so tough! Could totally be a movie poster


    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2013 at 2:28 am

      An animated GIF would have been sweet! Unfortunately I almost never shoot video. Maybe Google Glass could help me with that? (^-^;) Yes, the girl with the taped up hands looks great!


      • C said, on November 25, 2013 at 10:00 am

        Google Glass? Ew. I think of GOOG the way you think of AAPL…

        I don’t think you need a video to make an animated GIF. Did you shoot this in burst mode, by any chance? That’s all you need.


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