January 19, 2008
Oyama Dairi Park, Tamasakai (January 19th)
Today we went to see if we could find any birds at Oyama Dairi Park near Tama-sakai sta. on Keio line. We couldn't find many birds today, but we happened to see the seasonal event held there. The event is called "Dondo Yaki", which is one of the traditional ceremony around January 15th in Japan. People make a huge pile with bamboos, older talismans, Kadomatsu (New Year's Day ornaments), children's calligraphy, etc. and cast fire on it and wish their good luck and health. And there is also a custom that they bake some rice cakes with the fire of that bonfire and eat them wishing their good health. There were lots of people participating in this event today and they made a long line to get the bamboo sticks with two little rice cake balls on the top. We were almost giving up first, but actually they prepared lots and lots of those sticks, so we could get one for each.
People bring their own things to put onto the pile for "Dondo Yaki".
Lots of rice cake balls called "Mayu Dama" (Silk cocoon ball).
Kids helping to cast the fire.
In a few seconds after setting the fire. It was so quick.
The fire burnt some lawn on the ground, too.
Burning the "Mayu Dama". We had to fight with the smoke.