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thomas

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Cold-endurance test

Masamitsu Nakagawa (L), 96-year-old shinto priest, bathes in ice-cold water alongside fellow Japanese at Teppozu Inari shrine in Tokyo, January 12, 2003. The cold-endurance event is staged during Japan's chilly winter season. Temperature in Tokyo on Sunday was around 2 to 10 degrees centigrade.

=> http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/030112/170/30vig.html

Peanuts for Russian or Finnish ice divers.
 

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Vorkosigan

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I was already skiing in Nassfeld with -13 c under the sun.........brr

I once saw on tv a strange japanese suicidal sport, I really couldn`t believe what I saw: Some people was going down from a mountain on an enourmous cutten tree, and some of them finished under the heavy wood, some jumped and flyed around....Can someone explain me some history or meaning about this sport....
(freeezing)
 

NANGI

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Konnichiwa Vorkosigan-san!

I think it's a "SUWA's ONBASHIRA FESTIVAL". This festival is one of the strangest festival in Japan.

People throw big cutten tree down from the hill. And people hold on to the falling tree like grim death.

This hill has steep slope sbout 110 yards and it is an angle of 35 degrees. Big cutten tree is dropped from the top with people. Why people cling to dropping tree? Because it's a FESTIVAL.

This festival is very danger. Many person are injured in the festival, and sometimes lives were lost. But this festival be not discontinued. Because the festival is a tradition. The Japanese likes a tradition and formality.

The steep slope
the maximum angle of inclination is 40 degrees!

Kiotoshi(Dropping tree)
big cutten tree is pulled up to the top of hill and is dropped with people. The last man on the tree is a hero!

If you have interest in this festival, please look next HP. This HP is Japanese page, but there is an explanation in English too.

Japanese
http://r20.root.or.jp/onsuwa/onbasira/index.html

English
http://r20.root.or.jp/onsuwa/onbasira/english/Esetumei.html

NANGI
 

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thomas

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Hi Nangi-san, thanks a lot for your explanation. It seems that this is the most dangerous of all Japanese festivals, isn't it?

Onbashira Festival was briefly mentioned in this thread, it is held every six years. For those who intend to participate: you can ride the logs again in 2004.
 

NANGI

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Konnichiwa Thomas-san!

Yes, this is the most dangerous festival in Japan. BUT! These are other dangerous festivals too.
I live in Kansai-area and there are two dangerous festivals. One is the Kishiwada's Danjiri festival, and the other is the Nada's Kenka festival. Both festivals cause an accident resulting in death frequently. And unfortunately, both festivals open every year.
If I remember rightly, one person died from accident in the Kishiwada's Danjiri festival in last year.:eek:

NANGI
 
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thomas

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Hi Nangi-san,

I wasn't aware of these two other festivals. What causes these frequent accidents?
 
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NANGI

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Konnichiwa Thomas-san!

The Kishiwada's Danjiri festival and Nada's Kenka festival have the most traditional festival style in Japan. But both festivals are different from other festivals at a point. This point is a violent! The Kishiwada's Danjiri festival and Nada's Kenka festival is a very violent festival.

Danjiri is a portable shrine with wheels. People pull the Danjiri by a rope and parade the streets. Usually people walk with Danjiri in other traditional festival. But people run in Kishiwada's Danjiri festival. Of course Danjiri run wildly. And Danjiri go out of control often. Danjiri ran into a wall, telegraph pole and house. Unfortunately, some of people are caught between Danjiri and wall...:eek:

Nada's Kenka festival use a Mikoshi(Yatai) but not a Danjiri. Mikoshi has not wheels. People carry Mikoshi on their shoulders and parade the streets. And people hit Mikoshi against the other Mikoshi in a Shinto shrine. Some of people are caught between both Mikoshi unfortunately...:eek:
Kenka means "fight" in Japanese. "Kenka festival" result from violent action in this festival.

This HP is the official site of Kishiwada. There is English text about Danjiri.

http://www.city.kishiwada.osaka.jp/hp/45/450topdanjiri.htm

NANGI
 

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thomas

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Wow, that was very interesting, thanks a lot, Nangi-san! 🙂

I assume there's also a lot of alcohol involved, further contributing to accidents...

:gulp:
 

Anastasia

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gee that cold endurance test and festival stuff sounds like the Canadian Bon Soo! I was even thinking about doing the polar bear swim myself this year...but so far chickening out 😌
 

Vorkosigan

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Oh God...It's frightening...I like it!
Thank you very much for the explanation, It is really fascinating:)
 
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