Shimada Obi Festival 6: The “Clash” of the Chariots


Make way!

I finally went to watch the Shimada Obi Festival today where I took literally hundred of pictures and have to divide this report on of the strangest/unusual festivals in Japan into many parts!
This report is about the so-called clash of the chariots (not real floats) and all its fun!


Dai Nikai Yatai/Second district Chariot

The Chariots/Yatai seen during the Shimada Obi Festival are chariots more than floats.
Shimada City counts seven districts, Dai/第 Ichi, Ni, san, Yon, Go, Roku and Nana Kai/街.
The first six districts look after their own chariot which is also used as theater platform where plays are enacted by local kids.
The seventh district is in charge of the Lord Parade/Daimyou Gyooretsu!


Lovely fans of the Dai Nikai/Second district!

Although each chariot, after “having received permission from the other districts” is allowed to mave along the main district past all districts.


More lovely fans of the Dai Nikai!

But the fans will stay inside their own District to cheer their chariot as it passes them by.


The “movers”!

Although the chariots are mounted on wheels, these same wheels are more of wood and metal and are fixed to the frame. They do not roll!
One main reason for that is that a free-wheeling chariot is just too unstable to control.
Hence the armies of “movers”!


Now, this is tough work to ensure three days in a row!

Each “mover” is armed with a long pole made of a solid tree trunk cut at a slant at its base.
The poles will be used to lift and push the chariots from any side as thick tree trunks are fixed to the bottom frame just above ground!


Whereas at other times of the day the chariots will become the theater stages, in the morning they are paraded along the main street to the sounds of drum and Japanese fife players sitting inside!


The rope pullers of the Dai Ni Kai!

On the other hand teams of young men will pull the chariots with long ropes to help move forward.
But when it comes to moving sideways the “movers” will take care of the show!


The Fourth/Dai Yon Kai District pullers having a break!


Getting ready!


A last re-adjustment before the pull!


A few more details to take care of!


the “cheerleaders” standing on the roof, sticks in hands!
Notice that they are all light-weight!


The fans’ fans!


The Dai Yon Kai Chariot about to start!


The Dai Ni Kai Chariot about to star, too!
The whole affair is to manage to have two chariots moving along each other in different directions without any mishaps!
Not easy!


Still waiting to start…


Just a few more seconds…


Start the drums!


Moving forward at a slant needs so much physical synchronization!


Now the “problem” is starting! Both teams must absolutely ensure the very close by-passing!


The “clash” is beginning!
Actually it is all carefully planned banter.
The two chariots “riders” will scream at each other to leave the way or move aside.
There will be no real fight in spite of the very “serious” faces of the participants.
But in the rare occasion when the chariots do hit each other by accident older members will immediately run between the handlers and shout them away from each other in no uncertain words!
The police is invisible at such times and the citizens handle themselves!


The “riders” guiding the “pullers” and Movers” sideways to the sounds of sticks and whistles!


The “movers” concentrate on their task as if nothing was happening…
Mind you, they are well armed! LOL


Handlers waiting patiently while riders are screaming at each other!


In the meantime some young pullers are having their own fun!


C’mon guys! Let’s go with it!


Unrelenting drumming during all that time!


Some young ladies were very serious at it!


Move aside, will ya!


Now that we getting closer the “movers” are waiting for the “directions”…


It is the turn of the riders to frantically scream at each other while directing their respective chariots!


careful guys, careful!


Move aside!


Steady! Steady!


Very little leeway, I can assure you!


All the time the fans’ fans in a frenzy!


The last scramble!


Safely through, but look at those “stares”!

Part 7 will the daimyou Gyouretsu/Lord Parade close the show!


Shop with Intent by Debbie
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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