We should explain about the photo on the front page of this blog.
It was taken on January 1, 2005, at Oji Fox March Festival.
Kazu has been to see this festival several years ago with his mother, however this year
was the first experience for our family to go to see this very exotic festival.
The march starts exactly 0:00AM of the new year and about 200 local people who are
dressed up in Kimono and with the fox makeup march along the street of Oji,
in Kita-ward, to the north of Tokyo. Local people seem to enjoy this event so much
and there are so many unique foxes! (If you go there wearing Kimono dress they allow
you to join the march with the fox makeup. It must be fun to join them.)
While waiting for the march to start exactly at 0:00AM, they offer the visitors with
sweet Sake wine without alcohol. It was so sweet and warm thus all of us enjoyed it.
Since Chiemi and Aika are small, we stayed at a business hotel in Oji and slept a couple
of hours before going out for the festival. Thus the kids could see the festival to the
end at around 2:00AM on January 1, 2005.
This festival is based on the legend that on the first day of the year, all the foxes
in Kanto area gather at Oji and pay a vist to the Oji Inari Shrine. (At Inari Shrine,
the God is the fox itself. I learned that the fox eats house in the rice field and
considered to be a protector of agriculture in Japan. This is interesting when you
compare the eval uation of fox in the United Kingdom, where foxes are considered pests and fox hunting is a leisure for many people.)
Anyway, we enjoyed this exotic festival held in Metropolitan Tokoyo. It is a kind of
surprise for me to see such an active community-based events held in such a big city
as Tokyo. For our family, it was a good start of 2005.
(Photos: 1)The king of the foxes marching with his daughters on both sides, and his wife
behind him. (Actually the wife is being acted by a guy!) 2)Chiemi and Aika with a funny
guy with the makeup of a fox! He appeared to have been enjoying this festival so much!)