The last festival ever! For this summer.

Ah, the last festival of the summer. Yes, with the arrival of autumn topsides (hemispherically speaking), summer matsuri festivals are coming to an end. Most of these involve a bunch of guys (mainly) and girls getting appropriately hammered, then deciding if would be a good idea if they carried an incredibly heavy and ornate shrine (mikoshi) down the road. It’s done with a lot of spirit, shouting, cheering and whistle blowing – something you definitely don’t want to miss if you come to Japan in the summer.  See it before people realise that robots could be doing all the hard work for them!

I’ve had the chance to see a good number of matsuri so far, but this time I had the good fortune to be at a friend’s apartment overlooking the whole shebang, which gave a different perspective on things.

The guys at the top of the next picture are like air traffic controllers.  At least they would be if planes were carried around everywhere by their foolhardy passengers, and the pilots were drunk and not wearing pants.  They also seem to have guys who push against the mikoshi carriers to create extra resistance, as if their job wasn’t hard enough.



These taiko drummers followed the mikoshi around to keep the tempo up and the carriers sufficiently spirited.


And with the summer festivals over, the only thing everyone has to console themselves with is the amazing autumn transformation of leaves into brilliant reds and oranges.  Which I guess I’ll grudgingly accept.


3 thoughts on “The last festival ever! For this summer.

  1. Those thingamys (mikoshi) are supposed to be very very heavy. A mate of mine participated in this and nearly had a heart attack. Then got pretty drunk.

    You been watching Double the Fist? It is not bad.

  2. The first picture looks like some hapless guy has gotten his head stuck in the wooden things and is being carried away under duress.

    I’m not discounting the possibility that this is in fact the case.

  3. I saw Double the Fist a few years ago – are they still making it? Ah, I just checked and saw you can download eps from their website – even cheapskate non-taxpayers from overseas! I’ll give it a go.

    And MDB, you’re almost right. It’s pretty standard for mikoshis to have a disembodied head up the front, though this one is strange in that it’s wearing a hat.

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