October 15, the Kitakami "We Are One" market and youth center celebrated a milestone in construction: the roof laying or "topping out" ceremony. Common to construciton projects, the ceremony brings with it some rituals that have over time become staples amonst the community, and dozens gather to share with the builders and architects a pleasant afternoon. See photos and video brought to us by the Architecture for Humanity Japan team:
Folks gathering from as far as the Nikkori Sun Park temporary housing units
Among the heavy timbers and framed roofs, a shrine is built to honor the Mountain goddess
Builders, architect and design fellows gather at the temporary shrine
The shrine in detail. Food and sake offerings
Meanwhile, another group gathers outside...
Aki takes his turn to honor the mountain goddess
Individual honors followed by song
Setting up for the last part of the ceremony
People seem to know what's coming
GO!! The sweet buns and yen are showered down to the community
A ceremony as multigenerational as it gets
Make way for the gents...
Some bits are reminiscent of Halloween here in North America. The counting of one's stash may be universal
Afterwords, udon noodles are served from an open tent #delish
The crafted 7-minute video of the ceremony (practically feature-length). Whoever filmed (Toru??) deserves an Oscar for the shot at 4:48 during the ("Go!") sweet buns & coins tossing. The flic starts with sweeping introducions to the area around the Market–the Kitakami River, the Okawa Elementary school, and Nikkori Sun Park–and you get a great sense of the people living in Kitakami. N-E-WAY, just have a look: