Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Wedding

My main reason for coming back to Shimane this weekend was that Nina and Mike, two JET friends of mine, were getting married.

Nina came to Shimane the year after I did, and Mike a year after her. I don't know when they hooked up, but they made a great couple from the first time I saw them. They decided to get married in Shimane in a full-out Shinto wedding.

After meeting my friend Jara in Izumo and cruising out to Izumo Taisha (I make sure I at least try to get out there every time I go back), I caught a train to Matsue and a bus out to Yaegaki Shrine.

The weather was stupid hot. I had gone from 9 degrees C (48 F) to 25 C (77 F) overnight. Add 30 ~ 40% humidity to the equation and you have one uncomfortable Dustin.

I'd lived in Shimane for six years, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, but it was still stupid hot there. I apologized to them ahead of time, saying that there was no way I was wearing a suit. A tie and a nice shirt was as far as I was willing to go. Melting away is not one of my top priorities.

I got out there at two and rested in the air-conditioned waiting room. The wedding party arrived around 2:30, and I snapped a pic of the couple and their families.

Personally, I think Mike's dad's beard rocked.

I was assigned filming duties for the ceremony, so I had to move around a lot and try and catch all of the facets of the wedding. The blessing, the prayers, the flute and taiko, the drinking of the holy sake, the wedding pledge...

It was a very nice ceremony, and a lot of people showed up for it. While only the families were allowed into the shrine itself, the rest of us were able to watch from outside. It was cool to see.

A simple ceremony in an out-of-the-way area. Nicely done, Mike and Nina. Congratulations.


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