Vancouver Mikoshi Society ‘RAKUICHI’ to Attend Canada Day Parade -Fundraising for Decoration as well

 ‘Vancouver Mikoshi (portable shrine) Society “RAKUICHI”’ is going to attend a parade held in downtown on July 1st (Canada Day) for the first time. They have introduced mikoshi as the symbol of Japanese festival.

 The society will be in its 10th year in 2013 since it was established. They attended several events every year, such as ‘Steveston Salmon Festival’ and Japanese community summer festival called ‘Powell Festival.’ They have livened up the festivals calling out bravely.

 Spokesperson Kenji Kiyono said, ‘We decided to attend the parade to show our encouragement of doing something for 10th anniversary and liven up Japanese society which don’t seem cheerful.’ He also said, ‘We’ll liven up with a dance group together which attended the parade last year and cooperate with each other. We hope that those who don’t know what omikoshi is take this opportunity to know it.’

 The full-scale mikoshi which ‘RAKUICHI’ carries was given by ‘Japan Traffic Culture Association’ in 1985. They started to make new mikoshi since twenty-five years have passed by and it’s visibly getting older. Exterior was finished two years ago in cooperation with a lot of people like temple carpenters living in Vancouver. They are fundraising now as they have to order the decoration of mikoshi to Japan.

 Mr. Kiyono explains their future activity to complete mikoshi made in Vancouver, ‘We raised 15,000 dollars at the event held last June, but we have to collect another half for the decoration. We’re planning to do fundraising next year, too.’ He asks for the attendance, ‘We make an effort to introduce traditional Japanese culture to Canada society. Let’s carry mikoshi together with people who are interested in Omikoshi, Shishimai (lion dance), Matsuri-bayashi (festival song).’

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)