JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.

Image search results - "ceremony"
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Hokule'a arrival ceremonies
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Japanese tea ceremony house for rent. 聴雨庵
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Tea ceremony
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Sports Recreation Shiga 2008 opening ceremony at Kibogaoka Park, Yasu on Oct. 18, 2008. It was a sunny, cloudless day, and quite hot in sun. スポレク滋賀 開会式
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The opening ceremony started at 12:30 pm with a line of Caffy flags each representing a different sport.
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Athletes from Shiga at the opening ceremony.
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Then representatives from all 47 prefectures marched through the crowd.
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Each flag had the name of the prefecture. This is Miyazaki.
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Athletes from Miyazaki Prefecture hold a sign saying "See you next year in Miyazaki!"
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Shiga athletes applaud as the different athletes marched past.
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Gunma
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Tokyo
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Nagano
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Shiga
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Flags for all the prefectures.
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The contingent from South Korea also marched to their seats from the center stage.
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The opening ceremony stage was at the front and center, looking very tiny to most of us. Shiga Governor Yukiko Kada is in a yellow pants suit.
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Large monitor shows Governor Kada declaring the opening of the Spo-rec event.
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On the right was a large stage for the band.
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Over 20,000 people competed in the sports tournaments held all over Shiga. They included soccer, softball, badminton, bowling, track, gate ball, folk dancing, aerobics, and trampoline.
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This sports meet is designed for adults of all ages. You can be 95 years old and still participate. They call it a "life-long sports meet."
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Caffy cap
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Giant balls were tossed to the audience. They slapped the balls toward the front, but many of them popped like a balloon.
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The next activity, representing water, was having a huge blue sheet covering the spectators. The opening ceremony had a theme based on water, humans, and the sky.
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The ground transformed into a lake.
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Then they tossed these small balls onto the sheet where they bounced all over.
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A taiko troupe performs.
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For the finale, they released these little balloons shaped like doves. This was to represent the sky.
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Dove balloons in the sky.
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Another activity for the sky...
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A tall crane hoists up the Yokaichi giant kite.
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Wish they actually flew the kite, but I guess there wasn't enough room.
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The giant kite goes up. Normally, the Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival is held in May.
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This giant kite is actually an old one, from several years ago. They took it down after the opening ceremony was over.
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Flags
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Spo-rec flags
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They had a whole bunch of Caffy mascots walking around. Caffy is modeled after the Lake Biwa Giant Catfish, a unique species found only in Lake Biwa.
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Caffy, the official mascot of Sports Recreation Shiga 2008, is modeled after the Lake Biwa Giant Catfish, a unique species found only in Lake Biwa.
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Sculpture for Water.
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Sculpture for Humans.
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Sculpture for the Sky.
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Toward the east side of the park was an area where you could try various new sports.
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Throwing Bingo
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Jumping rope en masse.
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Blow darts
 
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