Tokyobling's Blog

The Second Koiwa Awaodori Festival

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 6, 2015

Last Saturday was the grand Koiwa Awaodori festival, perhaps one of the first, bigger Awaodori festivals in central Tokyo of the year. This was only the second annual festival, making it one of the youngest festivals of this kind in Tokyo. True to form, this year the rain was pouring down just like on the inaugural event last year! The dancers and musicians of this traditional dance from from Tokushima Prefecture in southern Japan held strong though and danced the entire two hours of the main event, despite the pouring rain.

I took these photos in the beginning of the festival, of the famous Asakusa Kaminariren (浅草雷連) and the new for me but excellent Eboshiren (笑星連) from Kanagawa Prefecture. Both teams were excellent in high form! As soon as the rain period ends the Awaodori season here in Tokyo beings in earnest – I can hardly wait!






Festival Peak Coming Up – Nagashima Yakumo Festival

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 21, 2012

Next weekend, the last weekend of July is quite probably the peak of the festival season. Every time I see a poster or an ad for a festival it seems to fall on 27th, 28th and 29th of July! Maybe because it is the first weekend that is guaranteed to be free of the dreaded tsuyu, or the rain period that supposedly stopped early this week. After that weekend the festivals are more spread out with the big obon festival in the middle of the season. Unfortunately I won’t be in town for next weekend, fortunately the reason I am leaving town is to visit a festival! I would need a personal assistant to plan all weekends until november to make sure I get as many festivals as possible.

Speaking of festivals, here’s a few more photographs of the Nagashima Yakumo festival from earlier this month, one of these festivals where the participants outnumber the onlookers! It felt very genuine! Of course it is an event for all ages, from the little babies to the older.

That Festival Look – Nagashima Headwear

Posted in Japanese Traditions, People, Places by tokyobling on July 14, 2012

One thing that always attracted me to the festivals of Japan was the flair and the fashion sense of the participants. We’re used to seeing young women dressing up independently and making an effort to look fashionable and many young men go to quite some lengths to establish their own character and express themselves through the way they dress. Men, and especially older men don’t have that many chances though, at least not here in Japan. So despite the uniforms worn by people taking part in the many festivals there’s one point where everyone looks completely different: the head scarf! There are endless variations in colors, materials, styles and patterns. Usually it is a short hand towel or a classic Japanese tenugui (long handkerchief) tied in some way that I fail at replicating myself. Have a look at some of these great looking men who took part in the Nagashima Yakumo Jinja Reitaisai (previously blogged about here). I have only tried this look once for a festival and it was a typical said looking western style knot. I should learn to tie them up like these handsome guys! Keep an eye out for the head gear the next time you visit a festival in Japan!

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