Tag Archives: Festivals

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 6): The O-Mikoshi/Portable Shrines!

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This sixth one is about the O-Mikoshi!

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Small O-Mikoshi, probably for children to carry along!

O-Mikoshi/御神輿 is an integral part of Japanese Festivals as the latter are usually related to the Shinto religion. They can be roughly translated as portable shrines and they are usually stored inside Shinto Shrines all year long to be taken out on the day of the Shrine Festivals or on other Festivals.

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These can be relatively small or near enormous.
The one used during the Yoshiwara Gion Festival needs at least 20 strong men to carry along the streets of Yoshiwara!

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In other Festivals you will sometimes notice ladies helping with carrying, but in Yoshiwara only men are allowed to!

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The reason to carry and shake an O-Mikoshi around is to wake up the deity inside and make him/her happy enough to dispense his/her benevolence onto worshipers!

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The carrying around of the O-Mikoshi will take all afternoon as all the 21 Districts will take care of it in turns!

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The worshipers bowing in love and respect before carrying their deity around!

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The men may do the carrying but the ladies are always near wit water and sake!

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Smiling under the stress!

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Starting to feel the strain!

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But certainly not giving up!

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The next District team bow to the O-Mikoshi while the Kannushi/神主/Shinto priest goes through his rituals to bless the portable shrine and his bearers!

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Each district will contribute its own gifts and sake! Bear in mind that “sake”‘s original meaning is “Food of the Gods”!

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Very serious about it!

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Sake is then poured onto the shrine!
The “sasa/笹/a kind of bamboo tied to the shrine in the Yoshiwara fashion will be taken off branch by branch by the carriers to stay in their home until the next Festival for luck and prosperity!

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Of late foreigners take part in such festivals and Yoshiwara Gion Festival is no exception. There no less than three of them for this particular district!

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But all the shouting was done in Japanese!

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The bare-chested carriers belong to the local judo club. Others wear shirts mimicking the tattoos of bearers of old!

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Another expat sweating along!

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Grimacing under the effort!

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The last spurt!

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See you again next year!

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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Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 5): The Floats!

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This fifth one is about the floats!

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It was a bit unfortunate I had to leave before the festival floats were due to go out on the streets just before the night set with all the lanterns alight and drummers and revelers riding them.
Well, that will be my goal next year!
At least I walked around to gather some information.
My steps brought me into the Minami/South District where one of them was standing in its hangar.

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I noticed the sake barrel and bottle and I was told that each of the 21 districts parading its float had its own barrel and bottles markd with the name of their district. All sake is honjozo brewed by Makino Brewery in Fujinomiya City (there hasn’t been a sake brewery in the City of Fuji for quite a long time!).

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The Minami District float inside its shelter/hangar!

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Carved Dragon!

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The float from the Moku District San Chome!

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What is that fierce deity?

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The float from the Rokken District!

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Kintaroo, the legendary hero!

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Looking after Mount Fuji!

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Lion guards!

Next year I will concentrate on these floats at night!
Promise!

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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 3): The “Faces”!

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This third one is about the “Faces”!

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Hefty members of the local judo community!

When you attend a typical Japanese festival it s always a good idea to take photographs working on the theme of the participants’ faces.
40 years or more ago that could have been a bit difficult as disreputable members of the Japanese society were more or less in control of such events, but nowadays Japan is so peaceful and bereft of sinister members that it has to actually mimic the latter whereas traditions are kept intact!

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Some of the senior members of the Festival!
I did ask them politely to look fierce but they just couldn’t help smiling at the notion!
Mind you, this is Shizuoka Prefecture, one of the most peaceful regions of the Japanese Archipelago!
Osaka and Kyushu Island denizens do look fierce there without being asked!

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A local lady ready to serve sake to the participants, especially the o-mikoshi/御神輿/portable shrine bearers!
I found out that each district had its own bottles of sake designed with a different label by Makino Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

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These gentle-looking portable shrine bearers gracefully agreed to pose with their bottle of sake!

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You do not see tattoo-exhibiting revelers any more and the body decorations have to be represented by special garments!
Actually the police these days would automatically apprehend or at least ask questions to people exhibiting tattoos in a provocative manner. Well, at least in Shizuoka Prefecture, following the demise of large underworld groups based in Fujinomiya City and Atami City!
But be somewhat careful in other regions!

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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 2): Fire Brigade Parade!

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This second one is about the traditional Fire Brigade Parade!

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Firemen with hapi/festival coat emblazoned with “鮫/same/shark” as they represent a district callled “Samejima/Sharks Island” related with the fishing of sharks!

Fires being the scourge of old Japan, firemen were probably the most respected society group in those times, even more than any security or soldiering forces.
Most of them were more or less volunteer but they certainly had their say in the feudal Japanese society!

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The parade is led by two stern looking “officials” holding special metal stick they bang on the ground as they proceed forward!

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Interestingly enough they represent the whole of Fuji City!
I suspect those two officials are real fire brigade officers!
Although there are plenty of professional firemen in Japan, their work is helped by many volunteers!

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Each main secondary/district fire brigade is represented by a pole holder who agitates the “matoi/纏” as it is called up and down and in circles!

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Hard work which has to be regularly relayed!

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This particular matoi represents the whole city of Fuji!

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in spite of the festive occasion participants are all very serious about it!

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Now, these men carry scythes mounted on long poles.
At the time carrying water to a fire site would have taken too long, so the houses on fire were pulled down as soon as possible. Neighboring houses would suffer the same fate as to create a fire void!

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It must have been the most dangerous work of the time!

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And of course the whole important ladder made of two long green bamboo trunks which are practically impossible to burn!

Meet you there again next year!

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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 1): Kimono-clad Girls

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This first one is about a rare occasion when young girls can enjoy the day wearing kimono, or more exactly yukata for many of them!

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Note the modern footwear!

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Hungry girls enjoying a treat!

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Little ones with a girl wearing traditional geta/下駄/wooden clogs!

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Definitely the more traditional kind!

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Enjoying shaved ice in the heat!

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Cold drinks in the shade!

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The modern kind? LOL

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Note the fans!

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Meet you there again next year!

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

Kanaya Tea Festival 2016!

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At last, after a two-year interval, I could enjoy the Tea Festival in Kanaya, Shimada City, although my visit was definitely too short to my taste. In 2018, I will definitely stay there at least a full day and a full night!

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Ladies’ power!

This year I almost reached Kanaya too early, but it gave me time to appreciate that the city and its inhabitants are trying their best every two years!
Let me at least introduce their event in pictures!

THE GROUPS & THE CLANS!

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Taking pictures is an embarrassment of choices, especially considering the universal goodwill and fun-loving spirit!
The rick is probably to sort your pictures according to themes!

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An orange chariot rider team!

The city is basically divided into 6 traditional precincts dating back to Edo Era and each has its own festival chariots manned and introduced by teams residing in their respective areas!

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The third precinct “guard”!

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A white and violet chariot rider team!

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A motley chariot handler team!

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The 6th Precinct “Guard”!

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The younger generation “Guard”!

THE CHARIOTS!

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The Chariots, called “Yatai”, is the main event and performed twice, once at noon and another time after dark!

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Each chariot carried its own drummers and flutists encouraging the handlers and riders!

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Each chariot was ridden by comparatively light men whose role was toe encourage the handlers!

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Naturally the same vocal and whistling encouragements amplified when two chariots got near to each other!

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And all the while the drummers keep drumming, drumming and drumming!

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All chariots seem to barely be able to pass under the telephone cables!

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Actually they had more trouble avoiding the traffic lights than each other!

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Handlers kept smiling all the time!
For all their fierce faces, fights are extremely rare between handlers of different chariots.
Even when it happens especially at night when everyone tends to imbibe as well, older organizers are very quick to handle any troublemakers without the help of policemen who are practically unseen!

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There was still a long day to come and participants were obviously saving some energy!

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Actually most were looking forward to the night when their hand lanterns would be lit!

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Move, move!

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The wheels are actually heavy wood logs that turn slowly and handlers need to push the chariots forward or sideways with long poles while more handlers were pulling the vehicles with heavy ropes!

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All in good humor!

THE FACES!

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All participants have two years to prepare themselves and some @faces@ are really worth photographing!
I actually know the gentleman above who is a truck driver!

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These two are actually senior cadres in the festival!

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Flaming guy!

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Mother and son!

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Always extremely happy to pose, especially with cute foreign ladies!

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The beauties and the beasts?

THE “TEA LADIES/CHA MUSUME”!

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But the Kanaya Tea Festival is known all over Japan for all the ladies of whatever age parading as the “Cha Musume/Tea Ladies”!

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All the members of the so-called “weak gender” are local!

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No age limit!

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Some of them are even carried along!

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No less than a thousand of them!

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See you again in 2018, but at night!

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

The 3 Big Shimada City Festivals in 2016 and Beyond 2: Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival-島田髷まつり

On Sunday, September 18th, 2016 the Annual Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival will be held in Shimada City!
This festival is increasingly taking importance in our Prefecture beyond our borders 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 stone 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 Japanese) 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 wearer’s 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 traditional culture.

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The Shimada Mage Festival is held on the 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 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, dedicated 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 the 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 distinctive 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 the 19th and 20th centuries. The rounded shape was thought to resemble a peach (momo), hence the style’s name.

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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 parts of 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 tied 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 the cord holding 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 15 minutes 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 well as 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

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