Moment #11491 – The Sound of Many Footsteps
Crowds of teens and young men rush up and down the stairs to the temple to the sound of chanting and whistles. It’s the middle of winter, and they are wearing only tabi socks and sumo-style loincloths to protect them from the cold… and from the buckets of water being thrown over them by the older men as they run past. From time to time, paper talismans are released from the ceiling of the temple and the boys frantically rush to grab the lucky charms before they reach the cold stone ground. This is the scene at the doyadoya festival; a traditional Buddhist event held at the beginning of the new year at a local temple here in Osaka. I don’t know why the participants are virtually naked in close to freezing temperatures, but I do know that they look cold. Really cold.