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Adventures in Shiiba - January 1996
Erik Kassebaum


This year I went to two regular Kagura dances. This was in addition to all of the Kagura dances that I saw performed during weddings, culture festivals, and the Heike Matsuri. In addition to watching the men perform I like to observe what the women do behind the scenes and what the children do while they are at Kagura. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. But, I know I still have much to learn.

My First Ride in a Japanese Police Car

Not long ago I rode in a Japanese Police car for the first time. I was in the car because the night before I went to a party and drank a lot of alcohol. When people in Kami-Shiiba saw me in the police car everyone's first reaction was of shock. People thought that I must have gotten into serious trouble. Wrong! The reason I was in a police car was simple. The night before, I left my car in Kami-Shiiba and got a ride home from a friend who had not been drinking alcohol. When I awoke the next morning, my head was a bit fuzzy, my feet were a bit cold and my car was where I had left it in Kami-Shiiba. Everything would have been okay had it not been for a minor snowstorm.

The Officer who gave me a ride was quite friendly and understood my situation. While we passed in front of the Yakuba we even joked about the questions that everyone was going to be asking me. For a few hours my being seen in a Police car was the talk of the Yakuba.

In America, during the Christmas and New Year's Holiday Season there are many campaigns to stop people from drinking and driving. Police, taxis and volunteer groups create special holiday programs which provide free rides home to those who've been drinking. In most American cities the Police will help you to get home if you've been drinking - so long as you don't try to drive. During this type of holiday campaign the police set up road blocks to check for drivers who've been drinking. If you are caught by the police they don't take you home - they take you to jail!!! Please don't drink and drive.

EMAIL List For Shiiba

I am making a list of all of the people in Shiiba who use the internet. If you have an internet EMAIL account please send me a brief message. Messages can be in English or Japanese.