Tondo Matsuri: A Local Japanese New Year Fire Festival

The Tondo Matsuri at an elementary school in Hiroshima gets under way.

I took Eileen-chan along to a nearby elementary school for the tondo matsuri on Sunday morning. We got there too late for the drumming and didn’t stay for the pounded rice cakes, but we did enjoy watching the fiery destruction of all the New Year’s decorations, wreaths and calligraphy papers, to say nothing of the bamboo, which gave off reports like gunfire as the inner sections heated up and then exploded.

A small fire truck and a team of ten or so firemen were on hand to oversee the lighting and combustion of the bonfire.

The school had a big “smiling faces” banner on display, with a nice message for the world in Japanese and translated into a wonderful Japlish sentence:

I want to deliver  face by the mail of the name of smile.

Smiling Face Delivery Service