Short short with English summary
The cherry blossoms in the garden of Yasukuni Shrine are very famous in Japan. Many people visit the garden. The Summer Festival of Yasukuni Shrine attracts even more people. The Summer Festival is held from the 13th to the 16th of July. This year the period turned to be from Tuesday to Friday. Therefore there were so many young people. The shrine area was just a festival of mega village Tokyo.
In Japan there are many shrines. You can find a shrine everywhere. We have an expression: $B!H(BIn Edo (old Tokyo) streets, you meet as many shrines as you find dog droppings.$B!I(B Generally shrines function as community centers in Japanese villages. At a festival all the village assembles, good time good place for meetings with dancing, eating and drinking.
Yasukuni Shrine was built just after the Meiji reformation when Japan changed her political form and structure and also international policy from very much closed nation, the Tokugawa shogunate, to the imperial state. The purpose of building Yasukuni Shrine was very political, to recruit soldiers and to get national consensus for carrying wars. Actually, all over the world, you can find shrines, monuments and cemeteries which have the exactly same purpose. To build and to maintain must have been very expensive. It can be considered the cost for public relations.
So Yasukuni Shrine has been supported by two pillars, to pay visits to the relatives who offered their life as soldiers, and to enjoy the festivals. So many Japanese soldiers died under the wars. If they were still alive, they must be over 85 years. The relatives of them are also getting old. The clienteles of Yasukuni Shrine are shifting to the young people. It is a right strategy for Yasukuni Shrine to make the summer festival as a big vivid village festival. These young people would never associate Yasukuni Shrine with wars and casualties who could be their own grand or great grandparents.