Ahead of the draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Kyoto, on May 10, a game of kemari was played in the city.
The game is an ancient form of football, popularized during the Heian era (794 to 1185 AD).
The game took place at the Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto, a world heritage site with links to the roots of Japanese rugby.
The Kemari Preservation Society performed at the event, which was hosted jointly by Rugby World Cup organizers, Japan Rugby Football Union, Kansai Rugby Football Union and the shrine.
All of the guests went through a ritual of prayer for the success of the tournament.
Fujio Mitarai, President of the 2019 Rugby World Cup organizing committee, signed a spiritual rugby tablet at the site, along with other guests.
Among the guests were the head coaches of Ireland, Argentina, Italy, Georgia, France and South Africa and Japan's two World Rugby Hall of Famers Daisuke Ohata and Yoshihiro Sakata.
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