One act I made sure to catch again this year was that of pole dancer, Himeno Takashima from Tokyo. I first saw her perform at last year's Osu Kannon street performers festival, and was impressed by her athleticism and expression. I gained new respect for what it means to be a pole dancer. With a background in theater, her performance is a combination of acting and acrobatics, and she interacts playfully with the audience throughout the show. According to her website, Himeno-san performs a variety of shows. In addition to the child-friendly "Ninja" show that she did at the festival, she also performs an "Oiran" (courtesan) show, which is described on her website as "a fragile and beautiful nonverbal performance of the heartbreaking tale of a courtesan in love" set to both French and Japanese music. She also has an adult-only burlesque act in which she incorporates dance and theater into her sensual and erotic show. These photos are from her afternoon and evening Ninja performances at the Osu festival. For the evening show, the Sengen Shrine provided a dramatic backdrop for her acrobatics on her three meter high pole. There was even a full moon, though I was not able to incorporate it into the photos. Himeno-san's website is: http://www.himenotakashima.com/ I was pleased to see that her website features a photo I took of her from last year's performance, where she has a shuriken (ninja throwing star) in her teeth.