Mikoshi Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival San Francisco

I made these images of the San Francisco Taru Mikoshi at this years Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival. The energy of the ritual is addictive. Part of me wanted to cast my camera away, and jump into the fray. One kind man took a few minutes to tell me about the history of the Taru Mikoshi ritual. It seems the palanquin, a vehicle with no wheels propelled on the shoulders of numerous carriers, has been around for centuries in Japan. Traditionally it carried gods, or humans who were thought to be closer to god. In the mid 19th Century, when the Meiji came to power, the new Emperor gave out barrels of sake to communities throughout Edo (Tokyo.) The people drank the wine, made a festival, and to show their gratefulness, they paraded through the streets with sake barrels on their shoulders…

Feats of communal strength seem to please god. This is one way to interpret the Mikoshi, The Giglio, the barnraising. Why is god enamored of our feats of communal strength? Or why do we humans imagine that god is enamored of our feats of communal strength. Is Kickstarter a digital feat of communal strength? Does it please god?

Click here for more pictures of the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival.