Monday, August 2, 2010

Kawamoto Summer Matsuri


On saturday evening we went upriver for the annual summer festival in Kawamoto. One street is blocked off to traffic and a stage erected. Along the street stalls selling food and drink.

The opening event was a rather poor performance of Yosakoi.


Next up was a performance by the local school brass band. Not exactly my cup of tea, but the performance was technically flawless. As it should be considering the amount of practising the poor kids have to do on weekends and during so-called school vacations.


And then some kagura. I noticed that Iwami kagura music now has the same effect upon me as Celtic music or Reggae..... my feet start tapping involuntarily.


Not sure how to describe the next performance. Yoko called it a play.

Next up the local taiko group. I always enjoy Taiko. This group was formed 40 years ago to cheer up the locals who had just suffered a devastating flood.


Thousands of floating candle lanterns were then set off to drift down the river. I would have liked to get closer to get some better shots but the river was fenced off and patrolled by dozens of security guards..... aahh!... safety Japan.


The finale was the obligatory firework display.

Kawamoto is a small town, but it services a large rural area, and the matsuri was well attended.

1 comment:

  1. Great photo work, as ever.

    Never having been to Japan, except vicariously through a kindred spirit, I'm not familiar with the "safety Japan" you mentioned.

    But the words evoked how our long taken-for-granted freedoms here in the U.S. are being legislated and public safety officered out of our hands. The freedoms to swim and surf where we had long swum and surfed. Now there are more and more folks in uniform issuing tickets and closing off the shorelines.

    Not what the land of the free was supposed to be. But as it gets more crowded, and more legalistic, it seems to be a pervading encroachment.

    Didn't surprise me too much in the U.K. when I returned after many years to find such is the case, but in the U.S., with its "live free" ethos, it seems out of place and increasingly out of character.

    As far as Japan is concerned ... maybe you can elaborate?