Monday, August 14, 2006

To the river in Usa and Bon Dancing in Yabakei

More river swimming and more Obon events today!

This time we went with friends to another river, with a more ambitious concrete treatment consisting of two large, deep pools with slides. The water was diverted from the river, which had been left in its prisitine condition, with pools and waterfalls much like, but much prettier than, the fake ones at Hachimenzan. The water was REALLY cold, which was a super treat for us. We had a picnic lunch, and hopped back in again. Amy, Emily and Masaki enjoyed the big slide, while Lena discovered a wonderful game in the upper, shallower pool, in which I was the car? seahorse? something? that she rode to the deep end. She would call on me to stop, then get off and go 'shopping' or 'to work'.

In the evening, we went to Baachan's childhood home for dinner and Bon dancing. It was a little more small and intimate than I was expecting - I was expecting something like our local 'Toro Matsuri' with food stalls and a massive circle and troupes of dancers in matching yukata. Instead it was just the neighbors in a small parking lot outside the local community hall. We didn't stay long, but it was interesting to watch the dancing which had been celebrated here for who knows how many centuries by generations of ancestors of the people there that day, including Amy and Lena!

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