Monday, November 9, 2009

It was creeping up on akimatsuri (fall festival) here in fujinomiya and i was all gung ho to get my odori on. However i got sick.

i'm not blaming this guy but he was definitely there when it happened. Creeping around the Aeon Mall in Fuji. i just wanted to buy some pants.

Got all delirious from fever and took some pictures of the arcade. Mostly because it was good to see a full on arcade in a mall again.
And how about the space trip?

This was a sign at an entrance to a travel agency. Are those space pants?

So then the akimatsuri creeps up and Im all kinds of runny nose and blech. But i put on my sick mask and head to the temple to see what all the hullabaloo is about.
Mostly its just a bunch of scammy cheap prize games like goldfish catch and pop gun can shoot and knock down some bottles with a ball. Oh you did it! Heres a toy that cost me a penny and you about 5 dollars. Congratulations!

Also tons of food stands, with a choice of about five things. None of which looked like it would help the sickness.

Here's a bunch of families out enjoying themselves. That water is actually super clean considering. It comes off Mt. Fuji and its super cold.

Here's some surprised people doing some festival stuff coming out the exit to the temple i was trying to sneak in.

Here's the same exit with slightly less surprised people.

i love ikebana. Japanese flower arranging. i took some classes for it after school at Kansai Gaidai chasing some girl. I can't remember the girl but i am forever in love with the fragile and conterminable beauty of this art. So i am always pleased when i happen across a showing. Here in the temple was a beautiful display.

So these different groups who group themselves according (i think) to a common ancestor build these mobile shrines and roll them all over town yelling and beating on taiko drums in full uniform.

When two families meet (on a predetermined course) they "battle" which consists of pushing and pulling the two shrines as close as they can to each other with out hitting the other while the drummers and flute players try to outdo the other family's. i don't really know whats going on but it seems pretty intense, so its entertaining.


i don't know who won....
So i met a member of the Yamato family at the local ramen shop i frequent. he for some reason fell in love with me and wanted me to teach his kids. (he didnt want to pay to sign them up for amity though...) He tells me to come down and he would dress me up and have me walk around with them all day (for three days) pushing and pulling a shrine in the name of some dead samurai named Yamato. i told him that sounded great except for work. (i only had one of the three days off). So i was going to help with that day.... at least that was the plan before the sickness kicked me in the not so nice place and left me an oozing aching mess. But i came out and supported. i also helped move the shrine after the battle to the next yamato place where they ate cold mcdonalds and drank warm wine. i did not partake. Instead i excused myself and went home and took a nap.

This is the back of Yuusuke's head. It says "Yamato". He told me it was ok for his job. You know, i'm not really sure what he does....

This is me and the front of Yuusuke.

This is us in front of the shrine i painstakingly dragged for half an hour.
After my nap i headedback out to meet him around 6:30. From there i put on a uniform and dragged the shrine to the final battle place where all four families meet in one big musical melee.

We battled, i pushed and pulled with no clue and had a blast. I then danced (no pictures of me looking silly, sorry) to several traditional festival dances and we called it a night. Which meant dragging the shrine to the garage.

Here is the beast in storage.

Here it is with the lights off.
After this we went to a little makeshift tent common area for the Yamato team where we talked and ate curry. I had to give a speech saying i was from america and how much i loved fujinomiya. it was properly embarrasing.

This is one last shot for the night. You can see i'm wearing the yamato colors and my sick mask. It got much worse from there.
The epilogue to this story was that my fever became dangerously high after another week of working and i had to go to the hospital, which didnt take as long as i thought it would, and i got some cheap medicine, missed one day of work and slept for the next day. However, the entire staff other than myself were having a great time playing tennis and barbequeing while i stayed at home watching youtube. Whatever.

1 comment:

  1. Dang that is awesome! You not only went to a matsuri you got to drag the shrine! Sorry you got sick.