Thursday, October 22, 2009


huge flu scare at one of my schools. everyone is wearing masks.
I fount this popular little character named Marimokori on a student's pencil case. Marimokkori is cute because he always has an erection. Here he is bathing in some curry and rice. That is not his belly button.
Festival just finished last weekend. Sunday Ikku shrine, home to Niihama's thousand-year-old camphor trees, was packed with people, waiting for the fights.
One by one teams of 150 men carried their neighborhood's shrine through the new huge copper gate into to the park and threw it in front of the god.

When the light hit them, these golden dragon floats glowed.

Tengu Penis Nose stopped by to deliver the god (in the form of a golden float covered in mirrors) with a line of elders.
Earlier in the morning at another park we watched more taikos. The hair at these events are amazing.
Even the kids get mohawks.

We ate breakfast at Tricia's. Here is the view of a neighborhood event from above.

The night before we ate dinner at Mr. Inami's house.
Hid father was beaming, so happy to have so many foreigners in his home. He got us all very tipsy on sake.
The event at the station was very intense. A huge fight broke out, making the entire street one big mosh-pit.

Yamane park.

Before Yamane Park we visited the tree.

We also saw the Saijo festival, known as the Sake-festival and the rape-festival. Many girls get raped. It's horrible. alcohol is evil.

This is my favorite Niihama event. no fights. just four teams carrying their 2-ton floats up into the forest to the secret shrine to be blessed. The towns gather in the forest to watch and cheer.

The first festival in Saijo is the one where we light the lanters on the shrines and then carry them through the night into the mountain to the fertility shrine deep in the forest.

Yasuchika came. It was great.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last stop: Ishizuchi-san

Yesterday we climbed Mt. Ishizuchi, the highest mountain in western Japan. The colors were shocking, "The mountain is burning," said a woman in Japanese.

This climb includes chains.  
very dangerous.
Because we climbed it during "leaf-changing festival," many other pilgrims were there. 

After the mountain we hitch-hiked back to the station and met up with Kaz and the Yano brothers for some Izakaya and Ume-shu. Coincidentally, the Izakaya was right next to the studio where Leigh and I helped make a commercial two weeks before. Leigh got to see the final version.  
This morning Chuyan and Tasuku came over to say goodbye to Leigh. 
Mrs. Yanagi took us to the train station. I miss Leigh already:  my infinite sister leaves me infinitely more, and infinitely less.  Now she is on her way to Tokyo to see Satoru!!! We are so lucky. 

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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