Tag Archives: 祭

Japanese Festivals: Nue barai Matsuri in Izu Nagaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture-第49回鵺ばらい祭

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The picture of the day: a smiling face inside a monster’s mouth!

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Yesterday I traveled all the way train from Shizuoka City to Izu Nagaoka Station by train and took the the local bus to Yu Rakkasu Park to attend an unusual Matsuri/Japanese Festival!
I managed to arrive one hour before the start of the festivities which allowed me to have a good location at the location and its people!
As in any festival the locals were selling food to the visitors!

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Okonomiyaki and karaage!

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A local specialty, big deep-fried gyoza!

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The stage!

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I saw the students from Nagaoka Junior High School arriving directly from their school!
The lady in the middle is Ms. Kamoshita, Director of the Izu No Kuni City Tourism Bureau who had faxed me the details of the vent!

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Mount Fuji was looking after us all the time!

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The program clearly indicated for everyone’s benefit!

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One of the great staff in attendance who kept me informed me all afternoon!

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A great hapi/festival coat!

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Great kids from Nagaoka Junior High School!
So well-mannered, ever smiling and enthusiastic!
Years ago the festival used to be performed by adults. Now it is exclusively enacted by Nagoka Junior High School!
And from this year boys and girls are equally represented!

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the drummers practicing before the event!

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The “nue/鵺”!
The nue is a monster of old Japanese lore. Check the NUE LORE HERE!
It is monster with the head of a monkey, the body of a tiger and a snake as a tail in Izu Nagaoka.
The legend was brought a lot time ago to Izu Peninsula from Kyoto by a Lord’s wife.
It is a monster/spirit thought to be a bringer of misfortune and illness.
This festival is held every year to make sure it does not appear to mistreat the local inhabitants!

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Great kids again including some big boys!

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One of the very old drums used during the festival!

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A last practice!

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But before the Nue Dance we witnessed a Japanese archery/Kyuudou/弓道 demonstration, which an integral part of the festival, held by the local Japanese Archery Association!

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These two gentlemen might be of a grand age but they did not miss their target!

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Male archers!

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And female archers!

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The nue did not stand a chance!
The target made of paper was subsequently shredded into small pieces to be distributed among the onlookers for good luck!
I got mine, which might come useful when facing the home dragon!

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By then the nue dancers had got ready and were coming out of the changing room!

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Some of the costumes had to be carried by hand!

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Samurais!

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I would like to thank these two young ladies who were so kind to answer this strange foreigner’s questions!

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Peace!

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Getting ready in the cold wind!

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The choreographer giving his last advice!

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And the dance starts!

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The nue and its minions ready to pounce!

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The fever went up a grade with the drumming!

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The nue’s minions are taunting the samurai!

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Mind you the kids inside are no monsters!

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The nue has crept among its minions!

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The minions first attempt to frighten the onlookers!

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There must be some kind of hierarchy among the minions as a few carry big tail snakes!

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The minions are attacking!

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Why have they stopped?

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This is the reason!

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The samurai have come to defend the onlookers by first loosing arrows!

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But the nue’s minions are undaunted and chase the samurai who have to unsheathe their swors!

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All the while the nue is looking at the action from a safe distance!

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Nothing frightening about these two sweet young ladies!

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While the nue kept looking at the action I crept behind it for some photoes!

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Big and horrible tail!

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Nasty head!

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The samurai were starting to get the upper hand!

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Take that!

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The nue’s minons were getting killed one by one!

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The nue’s minoons had all been cut down!

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The Nue still did not intervene!

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Things seemed to be all but lost…

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But this is when the Nue finally came into the fray!

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The drummers lustily encouraged the samurais!

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But the onlookers started throwing beans at it!

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The Nue roars back into the fight!

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But the samurais show no fear!

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The Nue is struck with fear!

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The samurais have started their killing dance!

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The Nue has no chance!

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The Nue is finally down!

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The Town and its citizens are saved again this year!

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Well done, lads and gals!

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The onlookers picking the beans which contributed to the demise of the Nue!

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The two choreographers who teach the kids every year!
They are brothers and volunteers.
As the second generation of choreographers they confided that they are aiming at teaching the next generation to make sure the Festival outlives them!
Well done, gentlemen!

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All the while local geishas working at the hot springs establishments had been stoically waiting for their turn in the cold!

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And they graciously danced for all!
Don’t ask me why I chose this particular lady! LOL

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The Nue mascot!

Looking forward to my next visit to Izu Nagaoka!

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, 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: 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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Shizuoka Festival Food Stands and Dancers!

Cute lady selling dango/団子!

The last three days saw the annual Shizuoka Festival which was held all over town.
It is slowly becoming better organized thanks to contributions from the whole Prefecture and volunteer citizens, although the city and authorities do very little…
Anyway yesterday, a beautiful Sunday, I took the opportunity to take a few (a lot actually) pictures to show you all what a local (in Shizuoka City) festival looks like!

I first went to the Sumpu Castle (a 2/3 scale copy of the original) and Sumpu Park!

The entrance to the main “square” where most of the food stands were located.

The map of the whole park!

A small traditional band manned by physically-impaired children!

Tough-looking girls on the Japanese drums!

Drummers start young in Japan!

Unimpressive and idle Shizuoka policemen…
Shizuoka policemen (actually traffic wardens in spite of their guns and plates…) are notorious as a lazy breed…

Now, what is that castle for?

A giant air cushion for kids to play on!

Fancy a tour with a “jinrikisha”?

Some people also call this Festival the “Shizuoka Spring Cherry Blossoms festival”!

These knee-high stockings are very much in fashion this year!

Plenty of food and drinks under the cherry trees! Ever heard of “Hanami/花見”?

Bento stand!

Japanese-style country food!

Yomogi wagashi Japanese cakes!

Shizuoka Oden!

Tsubuan Manju!

Shizuoka-style okonomiyaki!

Floating balls for the kids!

Try your luck!

Shizuoka specialties: dried sakura ebi/cherry shrimp and shirasu/sardine whiting!

A treat that kids all over the world look for!

More Shizuoka Oden!

Very well organized event with many public dustbins!

Kimonos are still very much in fashion!

A whole range of fancy okonmiyaki!

Japanese-style soft ice creams!

Korean-style karaage/deep-fried chicken!

Preparing o mochi and kinako wagashi cakes!

More okonomiyaki!

No, they are not selling kangaroo meat!

Shizuoka is strawberry country!

The Japanese too love their hamburgers!

Yakisoba!

Famous Shizuoka’s Hatsukame sake!

Takoyaki/Octopus dumplings!
I took a break to enjoy some with a cup of the above sake!

Charcoal-grilled ayame and ayu trouts!

Dango/団子!

Hiroshima-style Suwaganiten and nigiriten!

Utsunomiya gyoza!

Japanese-style corn on the cob!

Mini okonomiyaki?

More Shizuoka-style oonomiyaki!

Sausages!

Giant Sasebo (Kyushu) hamburgers!

Yakitori and oden!

“Love and Peace Ice Cream”!

I finally moved out to a quick look at Aoba Park Street where the kids were having on giant air cushions!

Right in front of the city hall! I suspect that many a civil servant’s kid was there!

And then I walked and made myself a nuisance taking pics of dancing groups in the middle of the main thoroughfare!

Sexy dancers! Sorry for the fuzzy pic, I was not really looking at my camera….

Mothers and kids waiting for their turn!

The Japanese love to be taken in photographs but the setting sun was a bit of a nuisance!

Is that a gentleman in the middle?

My personal first prize for colorful costumes!

The last pic!

Looking for and forward to the next local festival!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), 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: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery