Burning of the Daruma Dolls

by Ben Mckechnie January. 16, 2017 2050 views

This is my entry into the brand new weekly theme. Take a look at the announcement post here. 


While visiting friends in Matsumoto last weekend, I was invited to join a neighborhood celebration in the grounds of a local school. There was a huge bonfire upon which giant daruma (red doll heads modeled on the monk who founded Zen Buddhism) were burned.

Later on, a firefighter dressed in a futuristic cloak raked the flames towards the crowd. They were deemed weak enough for the children to toast mochi and marshmallow over, but the smoke and heat were still surprisingly intense.

As one of only two non-Japanese there, I considered myself lucky to have been present. Here are a few pictures (taken in manual mode for the new weekly theme) from the evening:


My jacket still smells of the smoke, even after hanging it outside for days.

Hope you enjoyed this. Comments welcome below. Thanks for looking!

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There are 9 comments , add yours!
Maura Elko 3 years, 11 months ago

I don't think I've ever seen sticks with so many marshmallows on them lol. Cool pics, must have been fun being there!

3 years, 11 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 3 years, 12 months ago

Wow! Exciting series! looks like a pyromaniacs convention!
Takes one to know one, I guess....right???
#1 roasting marshmallows????

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Chelsie Dwello 3 years, 12 months ago

Those are nice pictures. I used to live in Japan. what pat of Japan were you in?

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Chelsie Dwello 3 years, 12 months ago

Hi Chelsie. I used to live in Japan too. These pictures were taken in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. I was visiting friends from when I lived there. Where did you live?

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Chelsie Dwello Replied to Ben Mckechnie 3 years, 12 months ago

Tokyo and Date Hokkaido. I was also stationed at yokota Air base when I was in the air force.

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Aidan Parisian 3 years, 12 months ago


3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 3 years, 12 months ago

Love the dynamic of this post. Great work Ben

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Ben Mckechnie Replied to Antonio Gil 3 years, 12 months ago

Thank you Antonio. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
Stephanie Hyde 3 years, 12 months ago

I can smell the smoke from here...very interesting celebration! #3 really shows the intensity of the fire...wow!

3 years, 12 months ago Edited
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