Monday, December 15, 2014

3. Welfare Festival in Japan

Masturi is a Japanese festival. It's a religious event to pray or appreciate the good harvest or health.

Now this festival often includes a large event to provide entertainment and promote unity among the local community.

 Performance by Instructor / Takumi Suzuki (Guitarist) 

The annual "Yugyouji Welfare Masturi" in Fujisawa, Japan has become an event of mental health awareness.

Mochi-tsuki (pounding steamed rice into mochi)

This event provides an opportunity for patients struggling with mental illness and other community members to interact while enjoying local entertainment.

Saru-mawashi (a monkey show)

For this day, patients who suffer from mental illness practice for this event under challenging circumstances from time to time, over several months.

Akiko, an instructor, goes up on stage with the nervous members, and they are able to finish performing. These patients succeed each time their illness or disability does not discourage them from reaching a chosen goal.

Finished singing on stage safely, two performers are extremely relieved. The moment Akiko pointed a camera at them, they say,...

"Quit! It's not good"...but when encouraged, they both raise their faces, completely serious.

After deciding to cooperate, these two became more relaxed. Akiko then suggested they make "fool-faces."

Akiko believes mental illness and tension are synonymous, "because there is not even an occasional loosening in his facial expressions, even when out of treatment."


       " Thank you very much."

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