Sunday, April 06, 2008

Inuyama Matsuri by day

Today we met up with Kumiko to enjoy the festival in daylight. Last night we just walked down the street to see the pretty lights on the yamas and eat some festival food, but today we made it all the way to Haritsuna shrine in front of Inuyama castle, which is kind of the epicenter of all the festival excitement.

The festival started as a Haritsuna shrine festival rite by the Naruse family in 1634, and 374 years later the ritual is still alive. The thirteen floats are all waiting in line to let their float’s Karakuri (mechanical) puppets dance to the shrine. I guess this makes the shrine happy and make it provide the people of Inuyama with a nice spring.

Yamas waiting for their turn at the shrine

Japanese Chucky giving it his all at the shrine

Once the puppets are done with their performance, many strong men lift up the three-ton float and carry and push it through the streets lined with yatai selling dozens of delicious snacks (see my flickr) and beautiful sakura trees back to its home.

Yama moving down the street

Strong men hidden under the yama, pushing the heavy construction forward

Of course not only the men in this town are strong, and a group of women proved this by carrying their own little festival float around while singing.

Female yama

Yasu can never go somewhere without bumping into people he knows, he even met some familiars all the way in Tokyo Disneyland a couple of weeks ago. And of course this weekend in Inuyama was no exception. Last night he bumped into one of his seminar clients and today he recognized someone (from one of his seminars too) who was working at the local radio station. This radio station stationed a microphone outside so the people outside can have their say live on local radio. Of course the radio station friend wanted Yasu to talk a bit on live radio and of course the interesting foreigner had to be introduced on air as well. So I ended up blasting some English sentences into the Inuyama ether, without having a clue what was going on, because Yasu didn’t fill me in until after we were done talking into the microphone.

On air in Inuyama

The radio station crew

It was a nice festival and the yamas were very pretty, especially last night with all the lights. And for a chance Inuyama wasn’t asleep as things were actually happening here. The great yatai food alone makes me wish there was another festival here before I move.

4 comments:

Yasu said...

I was so happy that my lovely girlfriend was on the air , even though the radio station was tiny. hahaha!! Matsuri is fun, let's go another one in summer!! mwah mwah mwah Yasu

Louise said...

Welke zender???????????
DVK

Minke said...

Ja dat wil ik ook wel horen;)!
x

Louana said...

Welke zender? Geen idee... Inuyama FM? En ik wil het zelf ook wel horen, maar ja, je kunt niet alles hebben!