A Travellerspoint blog

May Days

A Japanese Wedding and the School Sports Day

A brief update today to share a some pictures from the second half of May, local stuff this time rather than big travels but some nice things I hadn't seen before.

On May 29th I was invited to attend a friend's wedding ceremony. Naomi used to work at the library in Imazu, but was recently moved to a different library so I haven't seen her for some time. It was nice of her to invite me as I know she only did so as I was curious about seeing a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. Normally only family are invited to the ceremony, with friends and colleagues joining the reception party later (which I didn't join).

I hadn't met her husband before (seems like a nice guy though), but as he is a Shinto Priest this was a full traditional Japanese wedding.

Naomi looked great in her full white kimono and tsunokakushi (the white hat; which, according to one Japanese culture book I have, is to 'hide the horns of jealousy' ???).


I like the center picture in that collage, as that was the point when Naomi spotted me (not hard as I was the only white person there!) and she really smiled and gave me a little wave despite the 'serious' atmosphere of the ceremony :-)


The ceremony took place in a shrine in Takashima, with traditional music played inside the shrine while the priest intoned the official marriage rites to the kneeling couple. When the vows had been taken, and the guests inside the shrine served with tea, the couple came out to meet the well wishers.


This was the last very official part fhe ceremony, and I was invited to join the group wedding photos as well (though I didn't get a copy of them).

After that it was more relaxed and people could chat more, so I gave my personal congratulations to Naomi.


I still got one last piece of personal treatment as next there was a lunch served, and (as I wasn't a member of either family) I was invited to eat with the bride and groom (and a close friend of the groom's who was also there) in a nice small back room overlooking the rice fields behind the shrine. Overall it was a really interesting event, so thanks again to Naomi for the invite!

After that I was in a great mood, so I got changed and went out exploring and got a few more nice photos of the local landscape; including a nice natural bamboo grove. and a giant plastic swordfish.



A few days later it was time for another event; the school sports day.

I used to hate sports (day) as a student and I'm still not crazy about organised sports now (I didn't even know the world cup was happening until a couple of days into it when one of the Japanese teachers asked me if I'd seen Japan's match!), so I had a distinct lack of enthusiasm about this event - still I didn't have to run... or not much... I had to do a short three legged race with another teacher... and we won that, so result! Anyway, I've decided that sports day is much more fun when you don't have to do the sports, but rather just shout at other people doing them and take a few photos.




It's actually a great chance to interact with the students outside the classroom, though the first years are cerainly the most fun; as they're stilll young enough to want to impress you with their silly antics (and to be impressed by your silly antics).


There were a few interesting events though, like the hundred leg race; like the three-legged race, but with three classes tied together.


and whole classes jumping rope together!


Both of these events, you may notice, place emphasis on group achievement - and this whole event was much more about working together than individual victory - as shown in this all school.... dance routine. (Man, I really hated to call this a dance, it's more what happens when your coreographer is your PE teacher trying to think of stuff for you to do with a Michael Jackson song in the background!)

Well that's enough sports, I'm feeling quite exhausted :-)
So, we'll close with some nice tranquil sunset shots.



Now that's more like it!

Posted by DKJM74 04:18

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