IKIMASHO!

Tengu Matsuri / Shimokitazawa 2015

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Don’t mess with Tengu. The Long Red-Nosed Goblin Festival, Tokyo.

Once a year, the Shimokita Tengu Matsuri – or Long Red-nosed Goblin Festival – takes place about a two-minute walk from my house in Tokyo. Along with possibly having the best name for a festival ever, it’s a chance to worship the legendary Tengu (天狗, “heavenly dog”) and  take part in a special ritual called Mamemaki – bean-throwing to toss away bad luck from the previous year. In 2014 at my kindergarten I was the one being the demon; you can check out that video here. This year, however, I was quite content to watch – and admire – the mischievous Tengu, and let him be the one doing the scaring.

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