This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Meinohama Tamaseseri

There are several Tamaseseri festivals in the Fukuoka area in the beginning of each year. It's usually cold, but the participating men wear very little clothing; they are bound to get wet. All festivals deal with a wooden ball (the tama), however the activities around the ball vary a lot.

In Meinohama the ball gets rubbed with oil and dipped in the sea of the harbor after which the fishermen take it to a shrine. 

They move in a scrum as it's all a matter of holding on to this ball as long as possible so as to get good fortune in the coming year. All fishermen dream of big catches that make them instantly wealthy enough to spend the rest of the year drinking shochu and sake, so they are keen and eager.

The course to the shrine runs through the streets of Meinohama for about 1 km

Oh no, Jaap got water in his eyes

Priests are performing the necessary rites for a safe outcome

Entering the Sumiyoshi Shrine

Here the ball is to be brought up, but for the moment nobody wants to let go.


Plenty buckets of cold water are keeping the guys cool.


There it is!

Owari! Finished!

Jaap and Yuichiro posing for their fans.
Glad to have all their ribs in place this time.

Last photo for my friends abroad who love these fundoshi oufits 

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