At the Kurayami Festival in Tokyo’s western Fuchu City earlier this year I saw this performance by the Satiama based Tadenomikai (蓼の実会), a famous local group of hayashi dancers and musicians. They performed their solemn dance which I wish I knew more about and one exceedingly cute little boy in the audience did his best to keep up with their movements, but only as long as they didn’t see him. I couldn’t tell if the crowd cheered more for the little boy than they did for the performers, but everyone seemed thrilled.
Whenever I visit shrines around Japan I always make a point of taking a look at their Ema, or votive plates, little wooden plates that you buy, write your wishes or prayers upon and then hang at the shrine, to enlist the help of the Gods in making your prayers come true. You can sometimes learn what a particular shrine is famous for, as well as get a good insight in what kind of people visit it by reading what they are wishing for. Sometimes however, you find these hand drawn anime or manga ema motives, usually by some die hard fans of a particular anime featuring the city or town or even shrine in their stories. Chichibu is one of those towns that have had the good fortune to be the setting for a famous anime and these ema are there to prove it! You can find other posts about more traditional ema by clicking the ema tag at the the end of the post.
I have posted before about one of the greatest winter festival in the Kanto region, the massive Chichibu Night Festival in Saitama prefecture just north of Tokyo. Even though it is called a night festival it starts early in the morning and while the sun is still up the kids of the town are allowed to take part on the massive festival floats that each neighborhood puts up for the festival. These kids were enjoying the view from the stage part of the float and were too cute not to photograph, and absolutely too cute not to blog! I especially like the photo of the very proud probably grand father holding the little baby! Adorable! Use the tags to find more posts about this fun festival.
Here’s a few photos of kids that I saw at the fantastic Chichibu Night Festival in western Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo, December last year. I think the first photo would do nicely in my “handsome fathers with their kids” ongoing photos project! Maybe I should create a tag for those photos? I also loved how the two cool little men climbed the high wall – sometimes Japanese parents are refreshingly liberal with their kids, not to mention the little girl who took her father’s fan and started to direct the festival float from her spot high up! She was just too adorable not to share with the world! The future of Japan is looking bright! Read more posts about the Chichibu Night festival here!