Naburi, Ogatsu Recovery Symbol: Ometsuki Improv
Greetings, this is Yumitani from ariTV.
Today we bring to you the “Ometsuki”,
a festival every January 24 in Naburi, Ogatsu Town, Ishinomaki City, Miyagi.
The tradition goes back to 1781, following a massive fire that ravaged the area.
Festival goers paraded the main float hoisted on their shoulders through tsunami-devastated Naburi.
This marks the return of the parade float after the disaster.
The previous one was swept away by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
Last year with no recourse the festival drums were instead borne by a simple truck.
The name “Ometsuki” comes from the performances at rest stops along the parade route.
The leader puts on an improvised show based on whatever comes to mind (“omoi-tsuki”). “Ometsuki” is the pronunciation of this phrase.
It has become custom to use explicitly sexual, bawdy humor with phallic and yonic props as many gather and enjoy the ridiculous display.
Speaking to many of the people there,
many of them had been forced to leave the area after the tsunami,
now returning to their home for the festival.
Ometsuki, with a history of more than two centuries, together with being a cultural treasure to preserve is a symbol of the bonds between people praying for Naburi’s recovery.