Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The ceremonial tree

The special tree

Please check out Stardog Photos.

Thanks for your comments yesterday. After going back to Photoshop, I played around with Sunday's image a bit and got it to look much better. You can see the results here.

Now on to today's photo. Like I said in yesterday's post, Shintoists tie shimenawa--sacred ropes with pieces of white rice paper--around anything they consider to be sacred. You can see a small one around this tree, now stripped of its bark and brances.

This is actually used in a very unusual ceremony. According to tradition, Shinto shrines are rebuilt every seven yeras. In the case of Suwa Shrine, they do it with style. Part of the celebration of the rebuilding involves giant logs like this.

Celebrants carry these logs up to the top of the mountain. The brave--or some might say crazy--men who take part in this festival then sit on these logs as they are slid down the mountainside lenghtwise. The men hang on for dear life (literally) as this giant log weighing 12-13 tonnes crashes its way down to the bottom. My friend Tetsuo tels me that every time this ceremony takes place, at least a few people are seriously injured if not killed.

I think I'd rather just watch from a distance with a nice long telephoto lens.

4 Comments:

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

Strange custom!

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger micki said...

This event wouldn't be on a "Good Reasons to Give up Your Life" list, in my opinion.

Keep back and keep your telephoto lens on.

 
At 1:50 AM, Blogger Robin Freeman said...

Sunday's picture does look much better sDog. You're learning!

I like this picture but in my opinion, the color saturation is a bit too much. You are getting so much better so quickly though! Good work!

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great perspective. A very lively shot. Great eye.

Abe from phm

 

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