Tokyobling's Blog

Jidai Matsuri Women – Kyoto

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on June 5, 2014

More of the lovely Jidai Matsuri or the Festival of the Ages in Kyoto, taking place annually through the center of Kyoto. The festival aims to show up important historical figures and costumes from the history of Kyoto, as a sort of historical reenactment celebration of the city’s illustrious history. The costumes ranges about a millenia of history so I am not very read up on the meaning of the different costumes, but among these, my favorite would be the last, with the fantastic colors, patterns and make up! If you are in Kyoto early autumn, make sure not to miss this fantastic parade starting at the Imperial palace and ending up at the Heian Shrine, once a year.

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Jidai Matsuri Men – Kyoto

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on May 21, 2014

I took these photos of some of the many young and older men taking part in the grand Jidai Matsuri, or festival of the ages, in Kyoto a couple of years ago. From the flute playing young soldiers of the Meiji restoration to nobles of the Heian era, they all represents different eras of the long history of Kyoto.

To explain all the costumes and their significance would take the better part of a month of blog posts. During the festival I was surprised at a number of volunteers who were selling official festival guide books that looked more like magazines, so I am not alone in finding the subject somewhat complicated. Please enjoy the photos at least, even without any accompanying explanations!

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Kyoto Jidai Matsuri

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on October 26, 2012

Having done my fair share of Tokyo festivals I spent last week in Kyoto in western Japan, to attend the annual Jidai Matsuri, or the festival of the ages (時代祭り). It is one of the big three festivals of Tokyo and it ties in with a few other amazing festivals that I didn’t have time to see, but all in all, October 22nd is a great day to be in the Kyoto area. 2000 people take part in this five hour long procession from The Imperial Palace to the Heian Shrine and thousands of people line the streets to see the costumes of long gone eras, starting from 1300 years ago and moving forward to the recent past. Naturally there’s a lot of palace costumes, seeing as Kyoto was for many centuries the home of the Emperor, but there’s also a few more common costumes and quite a few soldiers, entertainers and priests represented in the parade that show us how Kyoto has changed during the different eras. Kyoto is of course famous for the fantastic museum of fashion, so if you are interested in ancient and not so ancient costumes, a couple of days spent here is probably a very good idea. It was an unseasonably warm day in Kyoto without a cloud on the sky, and since this was the first time I could attend this festival I had no idea where to stand to get the best shots except to just try and stay out of the sun. I can only imagine how the poor people in these costumes and make up must have felt! Here’s a few of the costumes, but I will show more over this and next week. Enjoy!







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