Suin-kyo (素隠居) with his fortune-granting fan in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture
I seldom take random people’s portraits for 2 reasons:
1) I practically suck at it; and
2) I don’t want to offend random subjects who want their privacy respected.
This guy here actually posed for me, and although I still sucked at taking a decent photo of him, there’s a story behind the mask.
We chanced upon a Festival which usually happens every May & October at the Achi Shrine. The Suin-kyo are people wearing masks of an old man or of an old woman. They carry fans which they lightly tap on your head, it is said to bring good luck. The masks look jovial and most people approach them for luck, but there are always a few terrified children, and tourists like me. 😂 I have been tapped on the head but didn’t actually know the meaning until I looked it up online.
Note the unique pattern on the restored storehouse on the 3rd photo.