Here is the shirtless kenshusei video you have been waiting for.
The Daimonji festival was yesterday, and so the Obon holiday has come to a close and training re-starts tomorrow. The kenshusei are nestled all snug in their beds while visions of koho ukemi dance in their heads.
It was a nice holiday week. At the kenshusei house, we experimented with CouchSurfing–letting strangers sleep in our apartment just out of good will and hospitality. We had 5 extra people in the house at one point.
On Wednesday of the week, the kenshusei and the part-time kenshusei got together at a beautiful spot on the Takano River called Yase-Hieizanguchi. You reach it by taking the Eizan Electric Rail Line from Demachiyanagi Station in northern Kyoto.
Just like last year, we had a really great barbecue party, but this year there was a lot more swimming. Kitamura-san was especially enthusiastic, resembling nothing so much as a river otter.
Later, the rest of the kenshusei went for a swim too and we fired up the grill.
The week wrapped up with the Daimonji Festival (called Gozan no Okuribi by the local Kyoto people), in which bonfires are lit on the mountains surrounding the city in order to act as signposts for the spirits of the dead to return to the afterlife.