Thousands of young Buddhists, flower-laden and in gala attire, assembled in large temples and other public places in Tokyo, Apr 8, to celebrate "Hanamatsuri" - the annual cherry-blossom festival.
TOKYO 8 Apr 1960 (REUTERS)
GV Gokokuji Temple
SV Children around large model of elephant
CU Model of elephant
SV Children put on ceremonial hat 14
CU Children wear ceremonial hat
SV Children around miniature Temple (Hanamido)
CU Children pour 'Amacha' over statue of infant Buddha
PAN DOWN..Temple to crowds around
SV People take pictures of O-Chigosan
CU Little girl (O-Chigosan)
SV Child accompanied by father, child clad in Samurai warrior costume
LV Cherry trees
LV PAN..Children wait in street for procession
SV Girls pass in procession dressed in ceremonial hats, etc.
SV Children look on
SV Girls in procession clad in kimonos
CU Little girl (O-Chigosan) waves
LV Sacred children in parade
GV Crowds and procession
17 Initials PC/S/AHS/ES
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Thousands of young Buddhists, flower-laden and in gala attire, assembled in large temples and other public places in Tokyo, Apr 8, to celebrate "Hanamatsuri" - the annual cherry-blossom festival. Exercises and dances were held in honour of the founder of their religion, - Lord Buddha, - before participating in one of the festival's highlights - the "O-Chigosan" procession.
Both parents and children took part in ancient rites in the Gokokuji Temple. Juice of the "Amacha", a king of hydrangea, was poured over the statue of the infant Buddha, and children clad in "Samurai" warrior costumes played round a miniature temple known as "Hanamido" or Flower Temple.
Gaily dressed girls in kimonos, and "sacred children" in ceremonial hats, took part in the colourful procession as crowds of onlookers lined Tokyo streets.
"O-Chigosan" - or sacred children, - occupy an honoured position in the procession. An old account related that they were always gaily dressed and had their faces painted. Their task on this festive day is to dance before the Buddha, and to place offerings before him.