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As we climb the lantern-lit steps to Waseda Jinja, our local Shinto shrine on the outskirts of Hiroshima, the smoky tang of festival food wafts down to greet us: grilled squid, fried chicken and toasted taiyaki buns, fish-shaped and bulging with cream.

People of all ages are gathering around a small outdoor stage alongside the shrine. A group of older men banter loudly while, at one of the nearby game stalls, their grandchildren try to catch goldfish with a paper scoop. Schoolgirls study their smartphones and giggle.

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