Summertime is full of festivals in Japan. In my town, Kuwana, there is the Ishidori Festival where townspeople make a lot of noise with drums whilst pulling carts through the decorated streets. Poeple wear colorful clothes and enjoy participating in the energy of the occasion. I was thinking about what makes us want to dress up and make such an effort especially in the crippling heat of summer.
As we all know, the Tohoku area was devistated by a tsunami earlier this year. I watched a program today on a traditional horse-riding festival for the people in that area. They were thinking of abolishing it soon but the survivors from that area have clung to it as something to be treasured.
It made me think about the human spirit. We need to feel that we are a part of something. It encourages us. I haven't seen those people enjoying themselves since the tsunami struck. Watching them participate in their region's historical practice showed me the resolve in their hearts. The festival renewed their sense of community and gave them a refreshed pride in their local practices.
I used to be the kind of person who shied away from events and gatherings. I always found them to be 'tai-hen (troublesome/ too much bother)'. I have a new understanding of them now. And an appreciation for lasting traditions.