- Allison Imamura｜USA
Yobare and Kiriko in Noto
In mid July, I participated in the final tour of the Ishikawa Tour. This time we were taken to explore the Noto Pennisula. The highlight of the trip for me was experiencing the local practice of Yobare followed by a festival centered around Kiriko. Yobare is an activity where the local people open their houses to visitors and provide them with food and drink. We were able to participate in this event and were warmly welcomed by our hosts who were attentive and very friendly. We were able to sample various dishes prepared especially for summer festivals as well as enjoy lively conversation with various family members. From there we moved to participate in the festival. A kiriko is a large ceremonial litter carried on the shoulders of male members of the community. Several children ride on the kiriko and beat taiko drums. The kiriko is carried from the shrine in the hills down to the ocean. In this festival we followed one kiriko down from the shrine to the water where another was waiting. The men then carried each kiriko into the water near a small shrine on a tiny island. There were fireworks and once both kiriko were brought together a large bonfire rised on a pole over the water was lit. The event was entertaining and since there were few people it was very enjoyable. It almost felt like we had travelled back in time.