Easier said than done of course.
But if you are interested in taking part in the Gion Matsuri, (one of three largest festivals all over Japan) as a “hikite”, in other words the people who pull the Yamaboko, then this is how you do it.
Oh! first I need to tell you that there is a catch of course… well, not only one… “many” actually.
In order to participate in the Yamaboko pulling thing you need to be a man.
Not in the sense that you never chicken out from drinking games and that you like beer, we all know that but I actually mean that you must have been born as a Y chromosome, comprende?
And… you must be able to speak Japanese.
And that is, well… because you need to be able to understand all the yelling when the massive thing is on the move (depending on which one you get to pull, it could be from one to twelve tons of Yamaboko madness on a rope).
You can register online through this link.
And then of course, you need to be able to provide a Japanese postal address, and of course if you can figure out where to click and what to write on that link then off you go. In this case I won’t tell you “this means that” because I don’t want people to get squashed on the day and their excuse being: “oh, but this guy on the internets said it’ll be fine and…”
Just remember that I’ll be there taking photos of whoever gets squashed by a Yamaboko.
The number of volunteers applying might be large so in the end it might end up being a lottery draw. Oh, and be quick since this year’s opening window for applications is short as usual, from May 22nd to 28th!