At Hiraoka Shrine (Osaka) to witness an ancient autumn festival parade.
Comprising young men, middle – aged men, old men, young boys and girls from 10 years old, they form a human marathon to carry 20 wooden gigantic drums up slope into the shrine.
Elaborately dressed in gold silk and wooden carvings of Japanese spirits, these drums are mounted on thick poles and as high as a 2 – storey house. The drums must weigh heavily on the shoulders of their bearers but the human spirits are high as they danced up and down the slopes en route to the shrine. A few times, the human train came dangerously close to losing control and leaned towards us, the spectators. Of course no such accident was allowed to happen.
When one bearer can’t withstand the weight anymore, another bearer would take over seamlessly. And so the interchanging and cheering went on to maintain the parade.
I felt the weight of the drums on their shoulders and the dedication in their hearts. They were praying for a good harvest. If i were their gods, I would definitely be touched by their sincerity and grant them their wishes.
With such dedication, no wonder the Japanese made some of the best products in the world. It was awe inspiring to see such devotion.