Tokyobling's Blog

Kyoto Jidai Matsuri – Colorful Costumes

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on June 29, 2013

It’s just a few more months until the colorful Jidai Matsuri, the festival of the ages, hits Kyoto, and then a little later Tokyo. I took these photos last year, and I especially liked the men in the blue costumes, representing warriors from the Yamanashi Clan of present day Gunma and Tottori prefectures. The tall halberd carried by the man in the last photo is a naginata, one of the traditional weapons of Japan. These days it is a modern sport mostly practiced by women. I have never seen it performed live but there are sometimes very impressive show fights on TV where one woman with a long naginata blade incapacitates two or more sword fighters on her own! And of course, the little kids put up a great show, this parade lasted the better part of a day, winding its way through central Kyoto. The sunlight was harsh that day so I walked in front of them until about midpoint until I found a spot with a proper shadow to even out the light a little.

All of these costumes are historical representation, more or less faithful to how the originals looked back in old days. Isn’t it interesting how even the most average looking old man looks warrior-like in these costumes?










3 Responses

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  1. thiathiachan said, on June 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Reblogged this on My Lovely Life.


  2. yoshizen said, on June 29, 2013 at 10:19 am

    As your photography are capturing all the details so clear, they are really thought provoking.
    Jidai mean simply old era, hence it spread from Heian Aristocratic era to Shogun Samurai era,
    (still, an archer on the hose, looks Kamakura era or even before though) —– what impressed me
    most was that the craftsman still keep making those regalia and supplying them, enabling such
    festive demonstration now. = what a rich culture. Which made me to proud to belong.
    Thank you Tokyobling to work hard to record and show them to us.
    —– By the way, how did you know those blue warriors from Gunma and Tottori,
    even though they looks the same ?


    • tokyobling said, on July 20, 2013 at 2:29 am

      Thank you for the kind comment! It sure is a rich culture. I am happy, for my own sake as well, that they keep it alive. So many countries have discarded most of their own culture for the sake of modernity.

      By the clan markings on their banners and uniforms! I might be mistaken but they seem to belong to the army of a famous lord of old Gunma and Tottori. (^-^;)


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