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Final day of Taiko - 9am Taiko dedication to the sea.

Written on: Thursday October 18th, 2007

A journal entry from: Memories of Niihama

The final day of Taiko celebrations started with a special ceremony and a Taiko display.

At 9am a number of (I belive Shinto) religious figures did a presentation in front of two small shrines at the corner of the feild. During the ceremony a number of Niihama dignataries came forwards to present gifts of branches while following a set routine of bowing twice, clapping twice then bowing again. There were a few people watching but a crowd gathered towards the end for a special addition to the ceremony. A little baby was brought forwards by their parents to be baptised (for lack of the correct word). A preistess held the baby while the Shinto priest knelt before the shrine in prayer. She turned around twice during the procedings before bringing the baby back to the parents. There were so many people taking pictures and excited. I was really glad to have been there to see this. Most of the taiko events are big and exciting. Yet, this showed a more subtle side of Japanese ceremony.

Just as this ended the first Taiko arrived at the feild. It`s drum echoing on the buildings behind. It was neat to watch as they last Taiko seemed to challange the next Taiko that followed them in. At one point there was a threat of a taiko fight to start but I have a feeling it was more for show. In the end there was ten in total and each team dressed in a different color. I got talking to a lady from Saijyo beside me and she pointed out her brother in law who was a member of the aqua colored team in front of us. She introduced her sister and aunt who both live in Niihama and we chatted for a bit. 

Overall, it was a really nice morning and I am glad I took the time to go out.