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.
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!
If you are in Tokyo today I can recommend a visit to the huge Sensoji temple in Asakusa to see the rather unique and beautiful white egret dancers – Shirasaginomai (白鷺の舞). Local children together with musicians and performers from the large Yasaka shrine in Kyoto perform in the ceremony that was only revived in 1968 using an old scroll from 1652 as basis for the dance itself.
The second batch of cosplaying athletes from this year’s Tokyo Marathon. I really enjoyed spotting all of these fantastic athletes, but to be honest there was one guy in particular I was looking for, and that is the by now pretty famous Mr. Lullaby (ララバイさん) who dressed as Jesus, complete with a cross, runs the entire marathon bare foot! Compared to better equipped runners, his finishing time of 05:24 might not be very spectacular, but considering he is an amateur athlete without shoes it is pretty amazing. After the race he ran off to head a gig in Ikebukuro, as he is the singer of the band “The Chambers” (ザ・チャンバーズ). If you missed the post race gig you get a second chance on the 28th of this month when the band performs at a small festival gig in Shinjuku. In 2013 he even participated in the New York Marathon, in costume of course. The band’s twitter feed is full of fun photos of this guy right now.
There were plenty more of fun runners, like the zombie man with a meat cleaver in his head and a fork in his shoulder, or the man dressed up as Mount Fuji, or the many Super Marios. The list goes on!