Sagi Odori (Heron dance) during the Hanagasa Junko Procession, Gion Matsuri, Kyoto

The Sagi Odori (Heron Dance) is one of three devotional dances performed by local school children during both the Omukae Chochin (Welcome Lantern) parade and the Hanagasa (Flower Hat) parade during Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri.

As you can see in the photo, there are strings connecting the wings of the Herons that the children carry on their back. When they lift their arms as they are doing here, the wings expand, and when they lower their hands to their sides, the wings collapse. It is a simple and efficient system.