On Sunday evening after church, DJ, one the members at George King’s church named Ritsuko K., Jenelle and I went to the festival in Takatsuki. There were so many people at the festival. It was unnerving to walk through the crowds sometimes because I thought we might get separated from one another and get lost in the crowds.

Video of the main street of the Takatsuki Festival

When we first got into the festival there were many booths set up with Japanese food and games. When we got to the main street of Takatsuki there were people dancing to flute and drums put to native music. We moved down the main street to where the drummer and master of ceremony was; it was incredibly loud. We could barely hear each other talking. We continued moving with the flow of foot traffic and moved past a bike parking lot. There were thousands of bikes parked for the festival. Biking and walking are main ways of commuting here in Japan. The Japanese try to be eco-friendly and respect nature rather than destroy it and waste the resources. After the bike parking lot we moved into the food commons area of the festival.

Short video clip of the Kami’s temporary housing moving through the crowd

As we were walking Shinto priests started yelling and blowing whistles. One of the Shinto priests had a huge fan and was moving people out of the way for what was behind him. The Shinto priests that were behind him were carrying a large gold covered cart which is essentially temporary housing for a kami. If you remember from my earlier posts, the Japanese believe a kami is a Shinto spirit that protects or curses the people. The festival we were attending is considered a non-religious festival put on by the public school board. This gives you an idea about how tied the culture is to the Shinto religion. It’s just another part of everyday life for the Japanese. At the festival I had some soba noodles and fried squid legs. Yum! It was good to fellowship with Ritsuko K. and have her translate for us. Please pray for her parents as they are not yet saved. Please pray for us as tomorrow we will be passing our tracts at the train station!