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Photo Journal: Traditional training

In this recent photo, members of the all-female "Heisei Onnaboko Sayanekai" ensemble practice ahead of a performance of Gion Festival processional music to be performed at a traditional arts festival on Nov. 5 at the former Kyoto prefectural office building in Kyoto's Kamigyo Ward. The operation of the Gion Festival's iconic floats is handled entirely by men and divided strictly by district. The Sayanekai music group formed in 1996 to create a way for women to participate as well, drawing members from across district lines. Now, some 60 people from elementary school girls to women in their 70s participate in weekday evening practice twice a month in Shimogyo Ward. They perform at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto's Higashiyama Ward during the Gion Festival, as well as at various events. (Mainichi)

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