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Hyakumangoku Festival Day 2

Day two of the Hyakumangoku Festival! The main event: the parade! I confess in my human fallibility I forgot to charge my camera, so these photos were taken with my iPhone on which the camera is of questionable quality.

Finally got to sleep in for once! After a leisurely breakfast and finishing up Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 (which I HIGHLY recommend. Weird, but fascinating) my host family and I set off in their car for the Korinbo area to watch the parade. Korinbo is a large shopping and bar district, with popular malls, coffee shops, and restaurants. However, today the street was closed off and people were lining the sides to watch the upcoming festivities. The parade began from Kanazawa Station and progressed through the streets until it reached Kanazawa Castle, where the actor playing Toshiie Maeda symbolically enters the castle. (The parade is called the Hyakumangoku Gyoretsu.)

The parade began with school bands and baton troupes, like any parade usually has:

Then the parade turned more cultural/ historic. There were several groups of people doing the Shishi-mai (Lion Dance). If they run up to you and have the lion's head "bite" you, good things are supposed to happen to you.

Then there were old firefighter teams. They supported large bamboo ladders while one man went up and performed tricks on the top. I wish I had their core strength!!

For the record, this parade went on for about two and a half hours. Toshiie Maeda and his wife/family came last of course, but they followed after groups of samurai, and then shrine attendants, personal attendants etc etc...

Finally the royalty arrived!

They always pick a handsome actor to play Toshiie Maeda, so all the women cheered when he showed up.

After the parade we grabbed some street food (I got fried satsumaimo--Japanese sweet potatoes--that were then rolled in sugar, taiyaki--fried dough with fillings that's shaped like a fish--and takoyaki--friend dough with octopus. Soooo tasty!
And tomorrow is my relaxing/studying day before my first test on Tuesday. What joy.


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