On Sunday, I watched my friend participate in a Ninja Tournament in Kouga. It was very lively and fun and exhausting. I woke up at 7 AM in order to get ready and arrive at the train station early enough to catch an 8:30 AM train to Kusatsu and then a transfer train to Kouga. When I arrived at Kouga I was greatly amused to see the various depictions of ninjas around the small town. The train station had five or six murals depicting ninjas and various street signs were adorned with caricatures of them as well. We took a five-minute van ride to the actual Ninja Tournament area and that’s when the fun began. Three of our friends participated in the five events. For the first event, there was a short obstacle course in which five participants at a time would run around a small nature trail, climb a rock wall, jump over a small wall, and slide along a 5 inch wide board while backed up against a wall. The second event was a series of jumps and a balance beam followed by a pole which you had to do a back jump over. The shuriken throw was the third event while the fourth and fifth events involved a large pond of water. First, two long strips of metal plates were loosely tied across the pond in order to create a stepping-stone like bridge on which the contestants were to “walk on water”. It was really amusing watching some of the people fall into the water several times while others were able to run across the pathways without problem. The second water event involved two large, round foot flotation devices and a large bamboo pole. Five contestants at a time would attempt to reach the other side of the pool without falling into the water. Needless to say, not many people managed this, but it was a lot of fun watching. All of the contestants were required to dress in brightly-colored ninja costumes and the audience could do so as well for a small fee. I’ve added some photos below of the ninja village signs and the contestants.
Culture Shock Blog
(c) Silvine Photography
Many of my photographs are taken during my travels through Europe, Asia and Africa. I'm continually seeking inspiration in the architecture I see, the local customs I engage in and the vibrant lifestyles of the people I meet. I see each photograph as a candid shot of someone's life in another country. Through my photography I want to erase borders that may exist because of distance, language or misunderstanding.
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