We rode our bicycles to the park yesterday to catch a local festival here in Takao (Ichomatsuri). The kids promptly bought chocolate covered bananas, and I got okonomiyaki (because I’d skipped lunch). Then we walked over to eat and watch local dancing troupes. I enjoyed taking snapshots of the cute kids in between bites, including these girls who danced skillfully in front of us.
Then I started to leave (the kids were desperate to go find the cotton candy), but an old lady said we should see the next group. She insisted, so we stayed.
The next group didn’t disappoint. Their music and dance was a blend of traditional and modern melodies and rhythms so typical of Japan today. They rocked and inspired, and they had a lot of fun.
They changed costumes three times during the performance, and they had a menagerie of shiny and colorful accouterments tucked in their belts: clackers, fans, samurai swords, and mutli-colored streamers. The dust rose, the light streamed through, and the flags waved behind as the dancers rushed about in frenetic displays occassionally stopping for a group pose with a flash of color.
Golden fans … what next?
They just kept piling it on. The girl with the drum, and two others like her, carried the exuberance to a new level with their high kicking drum beating whirls. They were wearing tight leather shots and tops along with their traditional tabi (boots with a split for the big toe).
Finally, the finale!
My kids all said their favorite memory at the matsuri was, um, the cotton candy — except for Mari, who agreed with me that these dancers were tops.
PS – Don’t miss the video in the previous post!
6 Comments »