Asakusa Sanja Matsuri – Happy People
Japanese people often asks me why I am so much in love with festivals – and one answer I often forget to give is that festivals are one of the few times where it is ok for everyone, from children to old people to become visibly excited and enjoy themselves. It’s a day for the people of the city and not the buildings, shops or machines. So one of the things I love to photographs is just beautiful, happy, ordinary, smiling people! I wish we could have festivals every day, or that we lived our lives more in the spirit of festivals. The concept of festivals, where the people for once in their lives take control of the city and the streets (I have even seen ordinary citizens during festivals give directions to police and block the streets for police cars!) and enjoy themselves fits perfectly into the philosophy of Peter Lamborn Wilson’s (Hakim Bey) concept of immediatism, which was a way of thinking that I closely followed when I was younger and that I am coming more and more into contact with. Immediatism is a way of life and a philosophy of play rejecting the status and thrill seeking mindset of corporate consumerism. If you have time, I really recommend you to read the book that describes this philosophy. Japanese people don’t know it, but they are already very close in some aspects to this way of life. I will continue to move my life closer to immediatism and the happy smiles of people and festivals!