Thursday, May 17, 2007

Miyazu Matsuri (Festival)

I went to the Miyazu Matsuri with Bryn & my ICC students- it was a 3-day celebration (started on Sunday) but the final and EXCITING day way was on Tuesday, the 15th.

Along with the usual colorful street vendors selling food and games, there were also groups of men (including Eric) parading the streets in white yukatas chanting "YOISA!! YOISA!!" as they lowered and lifted the portable shrines in front of shops and crowds of people. They looked exhausted- they had been straining to carry the heavy lavish shrines on their shoulders for about 8 hours!!

At the end of the night, the parade made it to the local shrine. Men in traditional costumes played music on wooden flutes while lion dances entertained the women and children. Shinji's fingers were all bandaged up from beating on the taiko drum for three days! There was a near mishap as the cart's tall bamboo and lanterns couldn't fit under the gate into the main shrine, so he had to run around getting a ladder and disassembling the whole production and then putting everything back together inside the gate!

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