Sep 29, 2013

The End of Summer Festivals

We knew this time would come. The largest Hoto Festival in the region, in Issaki, started off the end of summer festival season.

An Issaki Hoto towering over the two-story home as it's carried down the street to the beat of lively taiko drums.

On the way to Tokuda Odori Matsuri, we passed a kofun (ancient burial mound).

Something about Japan that really impresses me is their respect for the wishes of those that came before them. In almost any other country, this burial mound would be dug up for historical and anthropological study. But in Japan, they don't mind not knowing who is buried here or from what era they are from. They were buried with the intention of not being dug up again, and so they shall stay. (Sorry British Museum, not today!)

Tokuda's Odori Festival

After Nanao's city-wide Odori Festival, each machi (neighborhood) held their own smaller version. Two women in traditional yukata danced on the stage as the rest of us circled around them, following their subtle and precise gestures.

There was also an awesome performance by the taiko group after the sun set. Before packing up, I had my first try at the drums. 3-3-4-3 beat - it's more addicting than I thought.

Another type of celebration - the welcome dinner and nomihodai ("all-you-can-drink") for Nanao's two new ALTs. Kanpai!


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