Tokyobling's Blog

Tokyo Jidai Matsuri – Painted Faces

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on November 8, 2012

At both the Tokyo and the Kyoto Jidai matsuri (festival of the ages) we could enjoy what I think was processions of the Tokugawa Shogun in fantastic costumes, but I have never seen this particular costume or face painting before! It looks great though. Both men and women took part in this reenactment, but in real life I think walking like this in the huge shogun processions (horses were much rarer in feudal Japan than in Europe at this time) were limited to men. As usual, if you have any details, please share! I would love to learn more! The only thing I know is that they carry “keyari” (毛槍), a sort of ritual pole carried at processions or used in ritual dances. I’m not sure what the hair like material is, but I have seen monkey’s fur used in similar poles. Maybe it is just flax?


4 Responses

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  1. JUURI said, on November 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    The girl is perfectly captured. Not many people can have a bright red face and still look gorgeous!


  2. steve vidler said, on November 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Hi, The painted face characters were called “Hiryaku” (meaning running legs). They used to carry mail.( express delivery of their time)


    • tokyobling said, on November 13, 2013 at 2:40 am

      Wonderful! Thank you for telling us! I have to dig deeper here. So much history – so little time!


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