It's matsuri season in Japan. The time of year when the blistering heat of summer has passed, the evenings are now simply pleasantly warm and the old villages of Tokyo celebrate with small, local festivals. Processions wind their way through the streets accompanied by drums and children cracking sticks together. The lead will carry bamboo, the stems freshly cut. And the entire community will become involved. This year, a young man in a wheelchair followed close by, having a wonderful time.
The parade will finally spill out into a local park, dirt rather than grass, and the evening will settle down to beer, gossip and dance. Young children will follow grandparents as the circle builds and tightens, everyone becomes everyone else's best friend and people catch up on the events of the last year's stories. Finally the dance comes to an end and an announcement is made that it's time for home. And the local matsuri is over again, but the community is reset, and the evenings grow shorter.
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