Onbashira Practice

Last weekend we had a “practice” for Haru-yon, Minato’s pillar at Shimosha. It will be the lead pillar of the festival there on April 8th. This day all the different groups gathered at Funatama Shrine for a mock run-through, pulling the hashira along the old Kamakura highway and then up into the hills a bit before returning to the shrine. It was a good reminder that hauling pillars engages a different set of muscles than what you use day-to-day. I also learned the futility of trying to take photos while in the midst of the action. Anyway, the scenery of the Suwa Basin is nice.



Kiyari singers on the hill

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Predictably followed by an after party. This one on the grounds of the village hall, very literally a “community center.”

And we were treated to some stellar Kiyari singing as well, particularly from Hitomi Hanaoka, one of the new generation doing the old traditions proud.

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