Thursday, 29 May 2014

船乗り込み (Funanorikomi)

Last week, I saw a poster about 船乗り込み (Funanorikomi) and decided to go and take a look before my Bahasa Indonesia class today. It's to start the June Kabuki show, so in a way, it's a sort of preparation for the Kabuki show I'll be seeing on June 22.

The flyer
I didn't really expect many people to come, so I arrived just before the opening ceremony. The place was packed. Take a look:

I'm not sure if you can see this, but the center
section was filled all the way to the top level
I couldn't even make it to the front and had to be content with standing at the side. The ceremony started when all the principal actors appeared on stage. I heard (from my friend) that a few of them are really famous, and one of them has even starred in a few TV dramas!

The actors
To be honest, I didn't really understand the opening ceremony. But then again, I don't understand most ceremonies - I tend to tune them out. I listened about half-way, then left to go find the place where the actors would board the boats.

It was crowded there, but I managed to squeeze between a few people with impressive looking cameras and snagged a spot.

Now, I've taken many many photos, but I think rather than spam, I should just present the best photos. Otherwise it'll be "one sentence, one photo". But even after curation, there are still many photos that I'm sharing ^^;

The Kabuki actors sit at the front of the boats
The actors boarding the boats. Behind them are... guests? I think. I know that the first boat is a little different because it has lamps and a drum!

The first boat
The good thing about the drums is that it makes it very easy to follow the boats. Just by listening, I can tell when the boats are coming (since this is the lead boat).

When I showed the pictures to my friend, she actually recognised a lot of the kabuki actors. But, the one boat that intrigued me the most were the ones with what looks like Geisha!

My friend says that they may be actors though. Can anyone tell who they are?

When the boats were launched, a bunch of loud popping noises suddenly sounded. I really gave me a shock, but sadly, they weren't fireworks. They just made white dots in the sky.

Really faint dots. 
As the boats pass by, we were given handfuls of white squares of paper to throw down. It made for a really pretty site, and it's times like this where I wish I had better lens (I really wanted close up shots)

Too much paper = hard to throw it gracefully
I got the paper from one of the many volunteers. They can be recognised by their vests, and they're stationed at every bridge to hand out flyers and papers. Most of them were ojiisans and obaasans. I really wonder how you sign up to volunteer, because I'm definitely interested in volunteering (although that means that I may not be able to take photos)

Apart from these volunteers, there were also an awful lot of policemen around. Not because the crowd was rowdy, but to guide traffic. They were basically there to make sure that the roads weren't blocked and that people didn't push or shove.

I had class from 2.50, so I left while the boats were just about to land. I didn't get to see the closing ceremony or anything like that, which is a pity. But I did manage to squeeze my way to get a shot of the landing area.

The place was packed! 
So now for a few random shots of the place.

 I like this photo because you can see the paper floating down. The river was basically spotted with paper after this. And bonus, this is the boat that has the geisha!

The boats as they row down the river. These are the last four boats. They're headed by pretty girls in kimono ^^

I just liked this picture. It's one of the banners handing in Nakagawa shopping street. It's the street you walk down towards Canal City.

I really like this shot because I didn't expect to see this girl play with her phone (perhaps she was taking a photo? She was one of the last boats after al). I really like her kimono colours too!

Fukuoka has reached Singapore levels of heat (but not the humidity), so it was a little tiring to stand in the hot sun. But I really enjoyed looking and the boats and I hope I get to see this again next year! Provided, of course, that I don't have classes during the event itself. And now I'm all hyped up for the Kabuki event in June!

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