Ball-Juggling Ritual Marks New Year at Kyoto Shrine (Japan in Photos)

Members of the Kemari Preservation Society play the ancient ball game at Kamo Shrine in Kyoto on January 4, 2018. Kemari (kickball), a game where players cooperate to keep a ball in the air for as long as possible, was popular with aristocrats in the Heian period (794–1185). The society holds a ritual game at the start of each year with members showing off their nifty footwork while wearing colorful, traditional robes. Long rallies were punctuated by the cries of players and applauded by the gathered crowd. (© Jiji)

Kyoto New Year tradition kemari