Onbashira Festival (27 images)

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Onbashira is one of Japan's most spectacular festivals. Every six years, sixteen great fir trunks are brought to stand as sacred pillars at the four Grand Suwa Shrines, symbolically rejuvenating the Shinto deity within.
Although Japan often presents a unified face to the outside world, Onbashira is exotic even to many natives. The festival, evolved over twelve hundred years, embodies a distinctive and proud local identity. In the face of urbanization and globalization, over a century...
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