Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.


A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.



The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

Feeling a Bit Blue

It astounds me that it's already the end of August. Time has seemed to pass in a bit of a blur: one hot, sticky mess of 100-degree days and only mildly more bearable evenings. I was also fortunate to visit the U.S. for a week (not Chicago I'm afraid, but Wheeling, West Virginia and then San Francisco) for a family reunion. It was lovely to see all the aunts, uncles, and cousins who I hadn't seen in person for several months, if not years. But given the short visit I essentially spent two weeks with my body clock completely confused about what time zone it was supposed to be in.  However, I'm now I'm back in Japan for the near future and have essentially settled back in to my usual rhythm of life. 
This past weekend I decided to engage with my arts-and-crafts side. The summer of 2009, when I first visited Japan, I was lucky enough to try my hand at aizome (indigo dying) in Kyoto. Recently I had a hankering to try it again, and e-stumbled upon a shop in Asakusa call…