I'm not sure what it is about the Japanese and their need to scare small children, but it sure can be entertaining!Nakizumo is a festival that happens all over the country. The one we attended happened to be at the Sensoji Temple at Asakusa in Tokyo.Many babies were all smiles before the competition, but they put their game face on as soon as they stepped into the ring.Some of the babies were crying the second they left their mom's arms.This little guy is seen here warming up before his turn in the ring.The judge on the stage was yelling, "Nake! Nake!" or "Cry! Cry!" at the babies.
Two babies are pitted against each other in the massive arms of Sumo wrestlers. The winner is the baby who cries the loudest.
We arrived an hour before the festival was set to begin and were able to get place right up at the front.
They would get the occasional baby who would laugh or even sleep. In those instances, a guy would come in from the corner wearing an Oni mask to make the baby cry. This little boy slept through the whole thing, no matter what they did to try and wake him.
The festival takes place on the fourth Sunday of April at Asakusa.
On a side note, I first heard about this festival several years ago. I was afraid I had built it up too much in my head, but I loved every minute of it! If you go, make sure you get there very early!!!
If you want more information on this festival, check out Katie's blog. She also has a lot of photos.