On the 21st of September I was invited to attend our local drum festival. The festival itself is one where a number of people from my community pull a float around our neighborhood with children at its center drumming a huge drum.
This year I was asked to man the front of the float as a leader. Someone who would keep an eye on the children to make sure they don’t run out into the road or get caught up under everyone’s feet once we get going.
Along with the job I was offered to wear a red sash of importance but on the day I was never given one as more people turned up than expected. As you can see from the picture below I think there were too many leaders than needed as most of them just stayed to their own families.
Even though I wasn’t given a role of importance I really enjoyed pulling the float and my children were given the chance to sit up on the float and drum the drums. My oldest son had the longest stint and stayed on the float for a good thirty minutes where as my second eldest just sat there and smiled at the float keeper. I was asked to sit up on the side of the float with the keeper to help my boy drum in time with the other children. It was a good experience as the keeper kept the rhythm by counting out in Japanese and suddenly changing to English.
In total we pulled the float around for two hours stopping every twenty minutes for drinks and snacks for the children. Once we returned to the shrine the organizers all gave us packed lunch and presents for the children.
The experience was great and I would like to try it again next year even if I’m promised a red sash but don’t get given it.