Letter: Spring in Japan

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The Independent Online
YOUR PICTURE for 1950 (The Eye, 16 March) shows the Return of Spring Festival of Saidai Temple, held on 3 February each year. The two batons, about a foot long, are thrown into the crowd at midnight. The man who succeeds in finding one in the melee attempts to conceal it, runs to a house marked by a white lantern and buries the baton in a container of uncooked rice that is waiting there. This confers good luck on the house and those that dwell there. The batons are returned to the temple and the finders of the batons are rewarded.

The photographer is presumably Tamotsu Yato, who illustrated a book on the so-called naked festivals of Japan.

ALAN FORGAN

Guildford, Surrey

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