This week was the start of summer vacation for children in Japan. With all the free time and the nice weather what will the kids do with themselves? One thing that kids in Japan love to do is to play with bugs, especially kabutomushi (rhinoceros beetles). So the Seika Town Elderly Talent Association put together an event for the kids to teach them about the beetles, let them play with them, and then the kids got to take them home in little plastic cages at the end of the event.
I went along for the ride to take some pictures and see what all the fuss is about, even though I really don’t like bugs and didn’t want to touch them. As you can see from the pictures the beetles are pretty big and have large horns coming off their heads like a rhinoceros. These beetles have a horn in the center of their heads (hence the name rhinoceros beetle) but the horn often bifurcates making it look like a deer’s antlers.
After the bug hunt the kids also tried out another traditional Japanese game takeuma. Takeuma literally translates to “bamboo horse.” You cut up short sections of bamboo and tie strings around them so that you can hold them in place while you walk around on it. It really does sound like horse hoofs clomping around. Some of the kids made tall ones so it almost looked more like stilts, but obviously made it much harder to walk. There was also a nice little pond in the park where we were that had these beautiful white flowers growing out of the lily pads. For me it was nice to get out of the office on such a nice day and it was fun because some of the kids remembered me from when I go to the elementary schools so they were excited to see me again.