Saturday, August 30

Nakatsu Natsu Matsuri: Oidensai

Giant lanterns at Nakatsu Station

On August 12 we got all dolled up in yukata to go see fireworks in Nakatsugawa. The next day was the mikoshi parade, but that's for the next post. Today you get the pre-mikoshi dance that makes Nakatsugawa's Oidensai unique.

Taiko at the station

The festival was pretty much an all-day affair, but I showed up around 6 to be in time for taiko and the parade. All up and down the main street different groups were giving taiko performances. I had hoped to see the kids from one of my schools, but I took too long taking pictures along the way.

Ladder stunts

I'm guessing this group is the Nakatsugawa Fire Department, as the fringed pole on the right resembles the matoi used in Edo times to alert people to the location of a fire. And of course, the top kanji on the banner is fire (A heart for fire? A heart to use for fire? How would you translate that?)

Oidensai manhole cover

Waiting patiently in line for the procession to start.

Watching taiko

Starting the procession.

For the banner procession, each area of Nakatsugawa and some community organizations dressed in their own colors and carrying matching banners paraded slowly down the main street. The procession itself was a dance, with slow, practiced steps. Accompanying the banner and drum carriers were children with lanterns and women in matching yukata, among others.

This group beat drums and small pan-like gongs as they marched.
They reminded me of Old-Timey Prospectors

The wooden adornments on these women's obi clacked as they walked, like wooden windchimes, creating a lovely, serene effect.

A step to the back.

Lamp post banners made by area schoolchildren.

At the end of the procession, all the groups stopped where they were and the music began for the odori (dance). Everyone was invited to join, but only a few brave souls stepped off the curb to partake.

Lone tako leg.
Waiting for incorporation into a takoyaki.


Blogger Polly said...

Hi, I have been following your blog for a while now, I live in England and Japan seems like a different world from here, I have never been, but now that I read your post I will definitely go, it sounds fascinating. Thanks so much, I look forward to the next post.

3:34 AM

Blogger Abbey said...

Thank you, Polly! You have no idea how much that means to me! ^_^

8:55 AM


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