The World Cup soccer is on. I wonder how far Australia and Japan can go?
Did you know that the ancient aristocrats in Japan played a similar game to “soccer”?
It is called 蹴鞠（けまり） and it came to Japan during the 7th century from China. The aim of the game is to keep passing the ball to each other without letting the ball drop to the ground. Some Shinto shrines still host a regular meeting for spectators, when enthusiasts in traditional aristocratic costume gather and demonstrate the game. The ones I know are:
4 January at Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto
14 April at Shiramine Shrine, Kyoto
3rd Sunday of June at Fujinomori Shrine, Kyoto
7 July, at Shiramine Shrine, Kyoto
Yes, the one in Fujinomori Shrine is held tomorrow!