Category Archives: Japanese Festivals

Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival Giant Floats in Fukuoka City!

All pictures by Robert-Gilles Martineau.

Some of the information is  based on official Fukuoka City Tourism Internet Sites.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa (博多祇園山笠) is the name of one of the most famous Japanese festivals celebrated every year from the 1st to the 15th of July in Hakata Ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka prefecture in Northern Kyushu Island.
This grand event, more than 750 years old, attracts more than a million spectators every year and was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1979.
Moreover, the sound of the Kaki Yamakasa has been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.
Its rites are centered on Kushida Shinto Shrine/Kushida Jinja/串田神社.
In fact the official name of the Festival is Kushida jinja Gion Retsu Oomatsuri/櫛田神社祇園例大祭.

Now, you need not worry if you cannot visit Fukuoka City during the first two weeks of July as the giant floats are on constant display for all to enjoy either under roof along the Nakagawa River at a walking distance from Hakata JR STation or inside Kushida Shinto Shrine!

Festival Floats exhibited along the Nakagawa River:

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Don’ forget you can see both sides of the float!

The Yamakasa floats come in two categories, namely, colorful floats for decorative purposes called kazariyama, and floats to be carried in the festival known as kakiyama. The decorated floats are set up on the street corners on July 1st for display, and you can take a look at them while strolling through the city. They are almost 10 meters tall,  and are decorated with samurai or popular anime character dolls produced through the expertise of master Hakata Doll craftsmen. Formerly, men used to run about carrying these tall decorated floats, but because they would get stuck on electric cables and lights, it was decided that they were more suited for display purposes only. The floats exhibited at the Kushida Shinto Shrine and along the Nakagawa Rivercan be viewed all year round.

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The kazariyama floats are truly enormous and you had probably better take photographs at different levels for more precise viewing: bottom part!

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Middle part!

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Top part!

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One full space is dedicated to the history of the Festival and the tools needed to drive the floats!

These poles are placed under the kakiyama, “Yamakasa/Festival Floats” and over the shoulders of  carriers running at full speed in the streets of Hakata! Bear in mind that each float weighs at least a ton!

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The back side, or “river side side” of the same float!

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The bottom half!

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The top half!

Festival Floats exhibited at the Kushida Shinto Shrine:

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These are exhibited all year round under special covers with explanations Japanese and English!

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The bottom part!

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The top half!

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The very top!

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The second float!

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The bottom part!

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The middle part!

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The top part!

The carried floats are borne by the men from the 10th and the festival culminates in excitement on the 15th. Early in the morning, at 4:59 on this final day of the festival, the first float sets off at the signal of beating drums. This is a contest in which men compete on the time taken to race along a 5 km course, over more or less 30 minutes; although speed is important, they are also required to maintain a graceful and heroic style as they run carrying the floats on their shoulders.

The interesting thing about this festival is that the citizens of Hakata refrain from eating cucumbers during the festival period. Even if they happen to find slices of cucumber in a bowl of salad, they will pick them out. This practice is said to derive from the fact that the pattern of the round cucumber slices resembles the emblem of the festive deity called Gion-sama enshrined in Kushida Shrine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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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Japanese Festivals: The “Big Three” in Shimada City!

There are many known and not so known reasons to keep an attentive eye on the City of Shimada in Shizuoka prefecture, the more for it with the noticeable increase in foreign tourists thanks to the increasingly busy Fujisan Shizuoka Aiport in The same City of Shimada!

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Tourists disembarking from the Airport should spare a minute to look at a big billboard outside Shimada Railway Station as it is written in no less than three languages, English, Chinese and Korean, depicting the three major festivals held in this City!

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The Shimada Taisei (Obi Festival)!

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This Festival has been held since 1695 and is one of the so-called three strangest Festivals in japan!
It is being held every years!

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Photo taken on 1th of October 2013!

The big attraction of course is the parade held with the 25 “Oyakko” dressed in attire of yore carrying umbrellas and long wooden swords draped with expensive traditional cloth!

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But there is still more to watch, especially the “floats fights” and the children dances!
For complete reports consult HERE (1), HERE (2), HERE (3), HERE (4), HERE (5), HERE (6), and HERE (7)!

The last Shimada Taisei (Obi Festival) was held in 2013, and will be held in 2016 and 2019 (Rugby World Cup Year which will include venues in Shizuoka Prefecture!)!

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The second big festival is the “Kanaya Tea Festival!

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Kanaya used to be a city of its own before it was recently merged with Shimada City, but it has preserved its own true identity.
Every two years no less than 1,000 “Tea Gilrs/Cha Musume” of all ages and status parade along the main street to celebrate the budding of the tea leaves every two years in the second week of April!

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Photo taken on the 13th of April 2014!

Actually almost the whole population of Kanaya is taking part!
But there are many more opportunities for great pictures and videos!

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Even young schoolgirls beating the drums like men!

The kanaya Tea Festival will be next held in 2016, 2018 and 2020 (the Year of the Tokyo Olympics!)!
For full report consult HERE (1), HERE (2), HERE (3), HERE (4) and HERE (5)!

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The third big festival is the Shimada Mage Matsuri (Women Topknot Festival)!

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It is a festival held to commemorate the creation of a lady topknot worn all over Japan said to be created by Tora Gozen, a courtesan native of Shimada!

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Photo taken on the 21st of September 2014!

On the third weekend of September 50 girls and ladies parade all around Shimada City with their hair/topknot done in the traditional Japanese fashion!

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This festival is held every year, but the 50 different participants are always different!

For full report consult HERE!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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

Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival-島田髷まつり

Last Sunday, September 21st, was held the Annual Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival in Shimada City!
This festival is increasingly taking importance in our Prefecture and it has become a must for tourists, photographers and festival lovers!

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Festival drum and of the day!

There are several different theories regarding the origins of the Shimada Mage hair style.
Some say it was created by prostitutes working in the Shimada-juku inn district on the old Tokaido route to Edo.

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Tiny pose for the picture!

Others say it is the style used by the Kabuki actor Shimada Mankichi (1624-1643).

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Start of the drums marking the formal beginning of the festival!

Another theory is the Japanese word Shimeta, in the sense of tied-up hair, became “Shimada”.

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Hurrying to join the parade!

An alternative account is that Tora Gozen, a native of Shimada, devised the style herself.
Tora Gozen was a prostitute said to have been on good terms with Soga Juro Sukenari, the elder of the two brothers in the famous tale of Soga.
She is also depicted in Kabuki theater as Oiso no Tora, a key character in works such as Kotobuki no Taimen.

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Walking toward the first dance square!

In front of the Yakushiji Hall in the grounds of Uda-ji temple in the Noda district of Shimada City is a stoe memorial known locally as “the grave of Tora Gozen”.

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Worrying mother!
The ladies, from kindergarten to their thirties are all local, volunteer, and different every year!

Today, there are many traditional Japanese hair styles that carry the name Shimada, including the Bunkin Taka Shimada style widely used for brides at wedding ceremonies.

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Dancing on the square in front of Shimada JR Station North Exit!

Other styles include the Yuiwata Shimada, Kanoko Shimada, Osome Shimada, Oshidori Shimada, and the Yakko Shimada.

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The inaugural Shimada Nage Festival was held on September 17th, 1933, but it was suspended during the war years,
Thanks to the efforts of the Shimada Mage Festival Preservation Committee (Shimada Branch of the Hairdressers’ Union) the festival was re-launched in 1965 and has since become a major event in Shimada’s tourism calendar.

Uda-ji’s temple main hall houses an exhibition of hairpieces in many different styles. Visitors have the opportunity to peruse the exhibits close-up.

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Traditional Japanese hairstyles (nihon-gami in Jaanese) are categorized into four distinct traditions: the Taregami and Kogai styles used by nobles of the Imperial court; Hyogo mage, with a strong influence from the Asian mainland; Katsuyama Mage, purpotedly pioneered by a prostitute from the warrior class named Katsuyama; and the threefold Shimada Mage style, conceived by the prostitute Tora Gozen. Evolving in Japan’s distinct social conditions, these styles sometimes functioned as emblems of the wearer7s socail class, age, occupation, and other characteristics.

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Shimada Mage is the most popular traditional Japanese hair style.

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It has been worn since the 13th century, but like the other Japanese hair styles, it developed mainly during the 18th century, as part of a wider blossoming of Japanese tradional culture.

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The Shimada Mage Festival is held on thr third Sunday of September each year. Women dressed in matching yukata (summer kimono) and a variety of traditional Japanese and Shimada hair styles parade through the d\streets of Shimada City.
The parade departs from the Hon-dori 7-chome intersection at noon. It stops to perform dances in Obi-dori street, the square outside the Shimada Station, and various other locations, before proceeding to Oi-jinja shrine. At the shrine a further dance is performed, dedicate to the Ubusuna deity. After a short break the parade resumes, passing the Shimada City Hospital, and on to Uda-ji Temple. Dances are performed at the temple in honor of tora Gozen and the Buddha, and a thanksgiving ceremony is held at the main temple hall where a variety of Japanese-style hairpieces are on display. (The parade participants and others involved in teh festival also pay their respects at the grave of Tora Gozen.

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Various Shimada hair style

*Taka Shimada
The most handsome of all Shimada styles. Usually worn by younger women. The Bunkin Taka Shimada variation, set highest and considered particularly elegant, is worn today by brides at weddings.

*Otome Shimada
A variant of Taka Shimada developed in downtown communities. Based on the Taka Shimada but distinguished by features such as a kanzashi hairpin inserted between the front and the side portions of the hair, and a piece of cloth placed on the topknot. Also called Saisoku Shimada.

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*Tsubushi Shimada
Popularized by townsfolk and women serving at inns in the early 1800s, and once the most widely worn of all Shimada styles. Tsubushi means “press down”, referring to the indentation in the center of the knot.

*Yuiwata
very popular in the mid-1800s among 18 to 19 year-old unmarried women. Prepared in the same way as the Tsubushi Shimada, but with a piece of cloth and/or cord added on the center of the knot. The knot also has a dinstictive rounded end.

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*Genroku Shimada
Initially worn among prostitutes in the Genroku era (late 1600s). Later became popular among young townsfolk. The hair is folded to produce a topknot that is narrow with a high end, tied in place with a cord.
**Other styles include Osome Shimada and Yakko Shimada.

Other classic Japanese hair atyles

*Katsuyama
Devised and popularized by Katsyuyama, a prostitute of the Yoshiwara district in old Tokyo. Worn mainly by wives of lords, warriors and other members of the upper classes in feudal times.

*Iccho Gaeshi
One of the most well known Nihongami styles. Worn by women of all ages from 15 through 60, and by both ordinary folk and those in the entertainment world.

*Fukiwa
Worn by princesses and other nobility. Also worn by characters in traditional theater such as Shizuka Gozen and Princess Yaegaki. Modeled on a style worn by women who were engaged or had a pre-arranged marriage partner. Thought to have inspired the Katsuyama style, and later evolved into the Maru Mage rounded style.

*Momoware
Worn by 17=18 year olds around teh 19th and 20th centuries. The rounded shape was thought to resemble a peach (momo), hence the style’s nmae.

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日本髪
“Nihongami” Japanese hair styles

Numerous variations of Nihongami (the Japanese hair style) can be treated using the four key partsof the hair: mage (topknot), maegami (front), bin (sides), and tabo (back)

*Mage (髷: the hair is brought together into a single bunch at the top of the head and toed round into a knot.

*Maegami (前髪): The hair near the forehead.

*Bin (鬢): The hair at the sides of the head, above the ears.

*Tabo (髱): The hair towards the back of the head. Also known as tsuto (つと) in West japan.

*Motodori (根髷): This term describes all the above parts together at the peak of the head. This motodori is then used to tie the mage or topknot.

*Kamoji (髢): A hairpiece.

*Kushi (櫛): A comb used to neaten hair and remove dirt.

*kanzashi (簪): A decorative hairpin, inserted at the front or rear of the hair.

*Kanoko (鹿の子): A tie-dyed accessory for hair. Often colored red or yellow.

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ACCESS TO SHIMADA

from Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport:
By car: approximately 15minutes to Yoshida Exit on the Tomei Expressway and 10 minutes to Sagara Makinohara Exit. About 30 minutes to JR Shimada or JR Kanaya Stations and downtown Shimada.

By bus: airport buses to shimada Station as wella s to shizuoka and Kakegawa Stations are on service.

[Inquiries]
Shimada City Tourism Association
14-2 Kanaya Shinmachi, Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 428-0047 japan
telephone: 0547-46-2844
Fax: 0547-46-2861
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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

Jirochyou O-Mikoshi Parade at Shimizu Harbor Festival!

One more attraction at the Shimizu Harbor Festival in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City was of course the O-Mikoshi Parade held in Jirochou Street, otherwise called “Jirochou Douchuu”!

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The O-Mikoshi arriving through Jirocho Bridge across the Tomoe River!

A mikoshi (神輿 or 御輿) is a divine palanquin (also translated as portable Shinto shrine). Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between main shrine and temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing.

Roots:
The altar of the harvest festival carried out to the time which repeated migration by hunting and collection is the origin of a mikoshi.
Some theorize that “The origin of Japanese mikoshi is ancient Jewish tabernacle ark”.
Actually, mikoshi and the ark of the covenant do not have much in common. They differ in production and decoration (a phoenix or a crane being very different from cherubim.).

First use:
A mikoshi was believed to have been first used to transport Hachiman to Tōdai-ji temple from Usa Shrine 八幡宇佐宮御託宣集 in 749.

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Arriving to the sound of drums hit by children!

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Slowly moving across the bridge!

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Yo ei! Yo ei!

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Interesting pants!

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The drumming kids are all local!

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Many worshipers form other shrines have come to end a hand!

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The O-Mikoshi belongs to the Shimizu Harbor Association!

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A portable shrine in truth!

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Interesting faces!

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Smiles everywhere!

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Hard work!

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More hard work!

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Waiting for their turns!

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Great support from other shrines!

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Great control!

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First and third generations!

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More faces!

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No age limit!

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The phoenix!

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Beer-guzzling mothers?

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Having a closer look at the drums!

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Overlooking the event!

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Having a closer look at the shrine and its phoenix during a break!

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Great kid!

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Family power!

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Taking a break at Jirochou’s birthplace before starting all over again!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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

Drummers at Shimizu Harbor Festival!

On the first week end of August every year a festival is held in Shimizu Harbor, Shimizu Ku (formerly Shimizu City), Shizuoka City.
I finally managed to visit it on its last yesterday and one of the events that particularly attracted me were the drums played by different local amateur groups!

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I cam early enough to witness the preparations!

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A lot of prep talk as ever!

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Each group brought their own drums!

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Heavy work!

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Getting slowly ready!

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Adjusting their costumes!

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Taking it easy before the action!

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Big smile!

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All set!

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Still smiling on the third day of the festival!

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Kids first!

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Very energetic!

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Bright future!

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The next group had an unusual technique!

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Drumming sideways?

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Back to a more traditional technique!

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Change of colors with the next group!

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Waiting for the signal!

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Age doesn’t matter!

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Cute!

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The men of the next group conferring!

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Smiling faces from the same group!

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Pose!

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The younger members in action first!

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Musical loop next!

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Woman power!

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Adults in action!

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Thank you all!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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

Ogushi Shrine Festival (小梳神社 祭) in Shizuoka City 5: Omikoshi/Portable Shrine!

Ogushi Shrine (小梳神社), a shrine almost 400 years old is located in Koyamachi, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City in front of Parco Department Store.
It is also the scene of a very local and ancient festival happening over two weeks in the middle of July.
Yesterday, Sunday July 20th saw the main attraction with the parade carrying the “omikoshi/portable shrine” around Aoi Ku in Shizuoka City.

This is the fifth installment of five photography report:

OMIKOSHI/PORTABLE SHRINE

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Ogushi Shrine Omikoshi!

A mikoshi (神輿 or 御輿) is a divine palanquin (also translated as portable Shinto shrine). Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between main shrine and temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing.

Roots:
The altar of the harvest festival carried out to the time which repeated migration by hunting and collection is the origin of a mikoshi.
Some theorize that “The origin of Japanese mikoshi is ancient Jewish tabernacle ark”.
Actually, mikoshi and the ark of the covenant do not have much in common. They differ in production and decoration (a phoenix or a crane being very different from cherubim.).

First use:
A mikoshi was believed to have been first used to transport Hachiman to Tōdai-ji temple from Usa Shrine 八幡宇佐宮御託宣集 in 749.

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Typical shapes are rectangles, hexagons, and octagons. The body, which stands on two or four poles (for carrying), is usually lavishly decorated, and the roof might hold a carving of a phoenix.

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During a matsuri (Japanese festival) involving a mikoshi, people bear the mikoshi on their shoulders by means of two, four (or sometimes, rarely, six) poles. They bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, and in many cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks called uma (horse), for a time before returning it to the shrine. Some shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the water of a nearby lake, river or ocean (this practice is called o-hamaori). At some festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it wildly from side to side to “amuse” the deity (kami) inside.

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Great leadership in spite of the rain!

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Shizuoka Ladies are strong and participate to the bearing!

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But it’s to the men to provide support!

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The parade starts with a spin in front of the shrine!

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C’mon guys! Follow me!

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They are following with a smile!

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Even the kids!

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About to go out under the torii gate for a 3-hour parade around Aoi Ku!

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Do your best!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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

Ogushi Shrine Festival (小梳神社 祭) in Shizuoka City 4: Performers!

Ogushi Shrine (小梳神社), a shrine almost 400 years old is located in Koyamachi, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City in front of Parco Department Store.
It is also the scene of a very local and ancient festival happening over two weeks in the middle of July.
Yesterday, Sunday July 20th saw the main attraction with the parade carrying the “omikoshi/portable shrine” around Aoi Ku in Shizuoka City.

This is the fourth installment of five photography report:

PERFORMERS

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A Festival in Shizuoka, or Japan for that matter, includes all kinds of main and side shows.
The “Tengu” above was one of the main shows!

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The omikoshi/portable shrine is the other one!

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But a stage had been prepared for a good reason!

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Enthusiastic performing group, which has been gracing such festivals for more than 30 years!

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Energetic drumming!

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Flag dancer!

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Lion dancer?

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Cute!

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Strong woman!

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And strong men, too!

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Powerful voices!

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Even grand ladies wouldn’t let the occasion escape!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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