Shibukawa belly button festival

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    A Reuters report about a belly button festival in Gunma Prefecture:

    Children and adults, many of them sporting painted stomachs, took part at the annual Belly Button Festival in Shibukawa, north of Tokyo, where dancing in the streets is compulsory.

    “The belly button is traditionally believed to be located in the middle of the body and the most important part. Our town, Shibukawa, is also called the belly button of Japan, and that is how this festival began,” said festival organizer Kazuo Yamada.

    The festival is based on a traditional Japanese form of entertainment where revelers paint a face on their torsos and stomachs and pretend it is a head.

    A kimono is then wrapped around the waist and the person’s real head is hidden by a large cloth hat. The belly button is traditionally painted into a mouth.

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