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Image of Asia: Rite of summer and sea in Japan
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Image of Asia: Rite of summer and sea in Japan

Participants carry a portable shrine, or mikoshi, into the sea during a purification rite at the annual Hamaori Festival in Chigasaki, west of Tokyo early Monday, July 20, 2015. The festival originated from an old times' story about a shrine that was washed away by flood and later found by fishermen. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

In this photo by Koji Sasahara, participants carry one of several portable shrines, or mikoshi, into the sea at dawn on Marine Day at the Hamaori Festival in Chigasaki, Japan. About 10,000 spectators watched the purification rite Monday at the annual festival that also marks the arrival of summer in the Chigasaki region. The festival originates from an ancient tale about a shrine that was washed away by a flood and later found by fishermen. A Shinto ghost or spirit is believed to ride inside the shrines that are carried into the water.

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