The weekend before last was my town's festival. (My town is Ichinohe and the Japanese word for festival is matsuri.) Here are some snapshots. Hope you enjoy. I would have had them up sooner but last weekend was Ninohe matsuri. Summer is Cu-razy here!
(Warning: this post is full of pics and video, it may take a while to load. Also if you're interested in more vids, check out my youtube.)
Noda gumi on the first day of the festival. They've been lugging the float around for about 4 hours at this point, which is why they all look like Death.
Hashinaka gumi (Ha-shi-na-ka! Ha-shi-na-ka! Can you guess which neighbourhood is mine? lol) stopped every once in a while to sing from a fan. I think they were blessing the neighbourhood. Maybe.
The kids would all jump at a certain part of the song. Told you our neighbourhood's the coolest!
Saihouji gumi's float.
Our town's 4 Westerners and our Japanese friend, all dressed up in our yukata, ready to do the town dance.
My Junior High students. They clean up well, but I can still do the town dance better than them :P
Uwamachi gumi's float.
The back of the Hashinaka gumi float. (Ha-shi-na-ka!)
Hon gumi's float.
I believe this character is Tengu-san. If I paid any attention to Japanese folk tales, I might have a clue about his background. :(
Our float's driver. Even though we're manually lugging this thing up mountainsides (cuz all of Japan is a mountain) it has power steering.
We parked the float right in front of my house (2nd one with the green fence) so that a little old dude could sing the blessing. The little old lady in the yard is my neighbour, who randomly will stoop in your yard, causing you to almost trip over here. But she's better than Crazy Sickle, the old lady that smiles like she spawned Norman Bates, and who we've never seen without a sickle. Crazy Sickle picks plants in my yard at 6 am. She's scary and she has a sickle. I'm not stopping her!
My boss, the Superintendent of the Board of Education. It must suck to be in a position of power here. You know how the neighbourhood politician has to show his or her face at everything? So does the Superintendent. And for that matter, the Principals.
About to head up to the temple for the blessing. The words on my lantern and on my happi (robe) are - you guessed it- HASHI NAKA GUMI!!!
The back of Uwamachi's float, and two of my sannensei- 9th graders, or 4th formers or 15 year olds. In fact pretty much all the kids except the ones on the Saihouji float are my students. I teach the two "big" schools in town (208 and 195- yeah I know, laughable) so I see my kids everywhere.
Float chicken! Uwamachi on the left + Hashinaka on the right + ultra skinny Japanese road = hilarity!!!
Finally, the festival is over and Hashinaka gumi parks the float until next year.
Until next year, Sayonara!
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