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Nakamura Tamao (actress), Fukuhara Ai (tennis), and Tochiazuma at Zojoji Temple setsubun
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About 11 am: Here we go folks, the first of 136 runners in Tokyo.
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Heavyweight judo Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii (石井 慧) was also at Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, 2009. He was very kind and signed autographs, shook hands, and took photos with a lot of people.
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Torch runner and famous singer Hashi Yukio passes through Ginza
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The festival usually features a celebrity or two. This is actress Fujita Tomoko at the Tokushima Awa Odori.
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Koga Toshihiko (gold medalist in judo) carries the torch to Asakusa, in front of Kaminarimon Gate.
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Arimori Yuko in her final marathon. She had fallen and both her legs have a bleeding cut. 有森裕子
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Arimori Yuko escorted by a few runners. 東京マラソン 有森裕子
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Bikini idols Yoshii Rei, Mitsuya Yoko, and Fukushita Megumi throwing beans on Setsubun
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Arimori Yuko finished in 5th place among the women with a time of 2 hr. 52 min. 45 sec. 有森裕子
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Even Hello Kitty threw beans for Setsubun at Takahata Fudoson temple, Hino, Tokyo
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Ai-chan and Tokyo governor Ishihara Shintaro light the cauldron.
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Ai-chan speaks.The frustrating thing about the torch relay was that they did not say which runner would be running where. A list of runners was made public, but there was no information about where they would run.
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Guess who was there too? Nobuyoshi Araki, Japan's most famous photographer shooting the azaleas at Nezu Shrine, Tokyo. That's a Canon EOS 7 film camera.
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Hashi Yukio sings the "Yuru-kyara Ondo" in front of Yuru-Kyara characters in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture.
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Hashi Yukio
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Hashi Yukio sings in front of Yuru-Kyara characters in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture. He sang a few numbers.
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Canon booth's talk show featuring actress Takeshita Keiko. The talk show had two young photographers whom Takeshita interviewed. The show was later televised on NTV on Feb. 11.
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Hanada Masaru, former Yokozuna Wakanohana acting as the daimyo lord at Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu
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Hanada Masaru, former Yokozuna Wakanohana at Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu
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Yuusuke sings at Hie Shrine for setsubun. 遊助
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遊助
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TV personality Daniel Kahl and a fan at Hino Matsuri, Hino, Shiga Prefecture. ダニエル・カールWhat's this guy from Yamagata-ken doing here at the Hino Matsuri in Shiga Pref??

ダニエル・カール
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Matsumoto Iyo to throw beans for setsubun at Ikegami Honmonji temple, Tokyo.
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10:20 am: The Emperor and Empress appear right on time on his birthday. As soon as they appeared, people waved paper flags and cheered "banzai!" Also see the video at YouTube.It was an amazing spectacle. I always saw it on TV, but this was the first time I saw it in person. I wish I went when Emperor Hirohito was still living.

From left to right is Princess Nori, the Crown Prince, the Emperor, the Empress, and Prince and Princess Akishino. Crown Princess Masako did not appear due to illness.

I also once used this shot for the cover photo on my home page.
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10:23 am: They wave to the crowd again. From left to right is the Crown Prince, the Emperor, the Empress, and Prince and Princess Akishino.It was very difficult to get a good shot of them since so many flags were in the way. I had to hold the camera overhead above the flags and shoot almost blindly with my telephoto lens. Luckily, I managed to get a few decent closeup shots.
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The Crown Prince, the Emperor, and the Empress on the Emperor's Birthday. They were on the balcony for a whole THREE minutes. I thought they would stay there for at least 10 min. Barely had time to mount my telephoto lens.
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Actor Toshiro Mifune presides over the yabusame horseback archery at Meiji Shrine. The first and last time I saw this living legend in person. He was a student of the Takeda School of mounted archery and still has a close connection with the shrine.I think he donated something for the shrine's yabusame.
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Actor Toshiro Mifune at Meiji Shrine.
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"I'm happy to be from Matsudo..." Also see my video at YouTube to hear her entire speech. 帰還の報告
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Naoko Yamazaki in her homecoming parade in Matsudo, Chiba. Also see my video at YouTube.
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JAXA Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki at her welcome home parade in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture on May 22, 2010.
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The crowd try desperately to get a shot of Haruka Ayase. I was shooting blind as I raised my camera in the air to shoot. Narita-san Shinshoji temple Setsubun bean throwing.
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Haruka Ayase is in the title role of Yae Niijima in this year's NHK Taiga Drama.
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Actress Haruka Ayase (left) throws beans at Naritasan Shinshoji temple on Feb. 3, 2013.
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L-R: Haruka Ayase, Kotaro Koizumi (son of former Prime Minister Jun'ichiro Koizumi), and Hidetoshi Nishijima at Naritasan Shinshoji Setsubun festival on Feb. 3, 2013.
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Hikaru Nishida at center in red for Naritasan Setsubun in Feb. 2001.
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The most famous was Jaguar Yokota, a woman pro wrestler. At Ofuna Kannon temple's Setsubun Festival on Feb. 1, 2013. ジャガー横田
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Actress Michiko Godai.
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Jaguar Yokota and her son tos bags of beans or Setsubun.
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Higashi Kokubaru, Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture running in Tokyo Marathon 2008
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Higashi Kokubaru, Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture. The only celebrity I was able to recognize.
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Actor Makoto Nonomura at Tokyo Marathon 2014
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Actor Makoto Nonomura at Tokyo Marathon 2014
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Olympic gold medalist marathon runner Naoko Takahashi at Tokyo Marathon Expo on Feb. 2012.
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Olympic gold medalist marathon runner Naoko Takahashi at Tokyo Marathon Expo on Feb. 2012.
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Olympic gold medalist marathon runner Naoko Takahashi at Tokyo Marathon Expo on Feb. 2012.
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Ohbayashi Motoko, former Olympic volleyball player serving as a setsubun bean thrower at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin temple on Feb. 3, 2010.
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Kataoka Shinwa, actor, throwing beans for setsubun at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin. 片岡信和
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Ohbayashi Motoko, former Olympic volleyball player serving as a setsubun bean thrower at Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin temple on Feb. 3, 2010.
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The festival featured a few celebrities from Hawaii such as Amy Hanaiali'i who was signing autographs on her new CD.
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This is actress Eri Watanabe (b. 1955) who is from Yamagata. She gave a memorable performance in the 1996 movie, "Shall We Dance?"
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Actress Eri Watanabe in Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri on Aug. 7, 2009.
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Actress Nakamura Tamao ("Tamao-chan") and TV personality Françoise Moréchand.Here's a Japanese list of the celebrities who threw beans this day:

フランソワ・モレシャン(タレント)、中島 ゆたか(タレント)、川原 多美子(モデル)、秋本 裕希(モデル)、山内 麻美(モデル)、玉川 スミ(落語家)、池田 綾子(歌手)、三笑亭 可楽(落語家)、春風亭 小柳枝(落語家)、三笑亭 夢太朗(落語家)、桂 米助(落語家)、柳亭 楽輔(落語家)、春風亭 鯉昇(落語家)、翁屋 喜楽(落語家)、鏡味 健二郎(太神楽)、神田 ひまわり(講談)、金原亭 伯楽(落語家)、吉原 朝馬(落語家)、金原亭 馬生(落語家)、金原亭 世之介(落語家)、初音家 左橋(落語家)、金原亭 小駒(落語家)、市山 松扇(歌舞伎舞踊)、市山 松翁(歌舞伎舞踊)、市山 松之助(歌舞伎舞踊)、市山 扇之助(歌舞伎舞踊)、市山 竹紫郎(歌舞伎舞踊)、市山 竹松(歌舞伎舞踊)、市山 翔(歌舞伎舞踊)
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Setsubun bean throwing at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo with Tamao-chan, Ai-chan, and TochiazumaAi-chan was really cute and seemed to be having a great time throwing the beans. Nakamura Tamao (actress), Fukuhara Ai (table tennis player) and Ozeki Tochiazuma (sumo wrestler)
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Tamao-chan, Ai-chan, and TochiazumaNakamura Tamao (actress), Fukuhara Ai (table tennis player) and Ozeki Tochiazuma (sumo wrestler)
 
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