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Photo Journal: Kicking up a fuss


A man in Heian period costume is cheered on as he demonstrates his prodigious ball-handling technique during the "kemari hajime" (first football of the year) event at Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto's Sakyo Ward, on Jan. 4, 2016. Some 3,500 visitors were on hand to see the demonstration of kemari -- a kind of football played by courtiers in Heian period Japan -- put on by a local society dedicated to preserving the sport. There are no winners or losers in the game, and the eight players on each team instead concentrate on techniques to kick the ball to their companions as smoothly as possible. The ball itself is about 20 centimeters in diameter and sewn from deer hide. (Mainichi)

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