Photographer's Note

The Bonten Festival in Kamikawachi Town near Utsunomiya City. This festival is held in spring and autumn, and has a history of about 300 years.
Several groups carry long bamboo poles up and down the street. The poles still have a clump of roots on the bottom, and they have streamers attached on the top. You can see the men in the middle shouldering the pole (wrapped in cushions), and there's another man pulling a rope to make the streamers move up and down.
I didn't stay there long enough to see it, but they carry them up a steep path to the shrine at the top of the nearby mountain, Mt Haguro (about 485m). I actually drove up there a couple of weeks ago and there was a pile of cut-up bambbo poles at the shrine from the previous festival.

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Additional Photos by DK Pugh (Verti) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 36] (184)
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