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The Hyoge Matsuri

by Yuki Yamauchi

Staff Writer

If you’re in the vicinity of Shin Pond in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, this weekend, don’t be alarmed if you’re suddenly surrounded by a mischievous gang of goofballs.

It’s all part of the Hyoge Matsuri, a festival that is held in memory of a samurai named Yanobe Heiroku (1610-85), who saved locals from a water shortage.

Festival participants, decked out in elaborate face paint and acting silly, will walk a 2-kilometer stretch to reach the pond. Once they arrive, they’ll jump into the water carrying a mikoshi (portable shrine).

The Hyoge Matsuri takes place around Shin Pond in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, on Sept. 9 (2-4 p.m.). Admission is free. For more details, visit www.city.takamatsu.kagawa.jp/kurashi/kosodate/bunka/bunkazai/hyouge_matsuri.html.