Showing posts with label Obon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obon. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Imbara Obon Matsuri


For Obon we went upriver a little ways to Imbara, part of Kawamoto Town, to check out their matsuri. There was kagura performed by the local kagura group who play in Hiroshima style. First dance was Jimmu, a 4 person dance depicting the final subjugation of the Yamato area by Jimmus invading force.


Next up was a performance of Zeni Daiko, a "dance" using 2 tubes decorated with tassles. Traditionally the tubes are bamboo and strung inside them are old coins, but nowadays plastic is not unusual. The tubes are waved, shaken, tapped on the floor, spun, and flipped from hand to hand in time to the music and provide a percussive accompaniment. The dance seems to be very popular in local villages.


Then some traditional dancing.....


The second kagura dance was one I had not seen before. Yamanba, based on a Noh story is popular with Hiroshima style groups, and I was pleased to see a mask that was new to me.


The "mountain hag" of the story transforms into her evil form...


... and a final battle puts paid to her and her accomplice....


Then there was the Bon Odori itself, and unusually it only lasted about 40 minutes..... other Bon Odoris Ive been to have gone on for hours. Also unusually a few of the villagers wore costumes for the dance....


The finale was a firework display..... not big by city standards, but nice that there were no barriers and huge crowds....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Obon in Gion


Just got back from a couple of days in Kyoto.

It's Obon season, and we were up visiting Yoko's family in Gion.

Last night we went up the hill behind Gion to visit the cemetery at the temple called Otani-san where Yoko has some family buried. The cemetery is all lit up with lanterns.


About half the crowds there were visitng and washing family tombstones, and the other half were tourists taking photos and enjoying the view over the city. There seemed to be more tourists than usual in Kyoto, probably there for the Daimonji fires that will be lit tomorrow night.


The long path leading up to the temple from behind yasaka Shrine is lined with lanterns.


Down around the main temple buildings all the lanterns were painted by local children.

Apparently Shinran, the founder of the True Pure Land sect has his tomb here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bon Odori

The population of the village has doubled in the past few days. This is O Bon, somewhat similar to the Mexican Day of the Dead, the time that the spirits of the ancestors return to their earthly homes. There is a mass exodus from the cities as children, and grandchildren, return to their home villages. Gravestones have been washed and cleaned, and in our village a matsuri is held.

Bonodori 1

There are food stalls, games, and of course. kagura. First off the kids performed a couple of dances, then it was time for the village group to dance.

bonodori 2

The Ebisu dance is always popular at matsuri's, as he throws bucketfulls of candy out to the kids in the audience.

bonodori 3

And of course the Yamata no Orichi dance where Susano battles the eight-headed serpent.

bonodori 4

But the main event of the night is the Bon Odori. Every region has their own version of the dance, but it usually involves the villagers dancing in a circle around a central platform that holds the drummer and singers.