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Showing posts from November, 2013

Battle of Gettysburg 150th Anniversary

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It was a hot day on July 1, 1863 near the small Pennesylvania town of Gettysburg. Little did the citizens of Gettysburg know that their town would soon be caught up in the great tide of history to become a decisive moment of the American Civil War.
Gettysburg is a name that echoes through ages where even the most oblivious to history have heard of it. It was the largest battle of the Civil War and the largest ever fought in the Western Hemisphere. After three days of fighting, there were over 50,000 casualties. 
The biggest battle of the war happened though by accident and not part of some grand strategic design. On the first day, Confederate troops encountered Union troops near Gettysburg not the local militia they expected. Union Cavalry General Buford was screening the Army of the Potomac and he saw that if the Confederates got control of the heights south of Gettysburg it would be tough to dislodge them. He fought a delaying action which bought time for the Union to bring up more tr…

Japanese Children Sumo Festival

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The Sumo festival in the small town of Wadayama in Hyogo Prefecture may not have the most skilled sumo wrestlers or the heaviest for that matter but they make up for it with a lot of energy and for their grandmothers with cuteness. 
To celebrate the autumn harvest, the boys of the village gather at the local shrine to wrestle with each other in sumo fashion wearing the traditional sumo loincloth known as fundoshi. Officiating them is a referee dressed in stylish robes of the Heian Period (794-1192) known as a gyoji. 
The boys range in age from about 5 to 11 or 12. There is no ritual significance in the age of the contenders. It's just that most of the boys feel embarrassed to stand around in a loincloth once they start Junior High School. 
The purpose behind the sumo event other than to give their grandparents something to awe about is to bring good fortune to the community. This harkens back to sumo's origins before it became a professional sport. In ancient times sumo was perfo…