Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Yamakasa Oiyamanarashi (山笠追い山ならし)

This post is for +Whitney Yee, who requested that I write something about Yamakasa. 

So today marks the end of Hakata Gion Yamakasa. It actually has this really early sunrise march, but after yesterday's match (YAY GERMANY WON), I really needed the sleep.

But, I did go to one of the earlier events on Saturday - the Yamakasa oiyamanarashi.

Look, something happening! 
Basically, this is a rehearsal for the real thing, and it's held at a much saner time with less people involved. For me, that pretty much means it's the preferable event.

By the way, have you noticed their outfits? Let me tell you, it made for some awkward shots. I tried snapping all these photos without making eye contact with anyone.

Actually, I'd rather take photos of the cute kids in their outfits:

But, I guess what you guys want to see are photos of the actual event. I actually meant to edit them (I always meant to edit my photos), but I haven't even transferred it to my iPad, much less edit them.

My main impression was: Loud. Loud and rather smelly. I think it's the stink of sweat, and I don't blame them.

It actually started raining just before the race started, but everyone sill carried on. And these people were actually running. Loads of respect for that.

And since I went to Tenjin and Nakatsukawabata, I managed to see some of the Kazariyama floats as well.

These floats were originally carried(!) but nowadays, they're only used for decoration. Or so I'm told.

 What I found interesting was the the front and back of the floats were completely different. Take a look at the picture above - looks serious and traditional right? Now look at the picture below (same float, opposite side):

Anpan Man!
Yup, that's Anpan Man, a really famous anime here in Japan.

And speaking of anime, I'm sure most of you know about Doraemon. Do you wanna see the Doraemon float? It was on the road leading to Canal city.

Blocking the path of everyone.
Isn't it adorable!

Lots of kids were so happy to see the float. Not just kids, adults too. Well, even I was happy to see Doraemon!

And of course, the back of the float was really serious.

I heard that there are floats all over Fukuoka, though most are concentrated in the Tenjin-Nakatsukawabata-Hakata area. Anyone want to come to Kyudai, and then go around looking at floats with me next year?

And next year. Next year, there won't be any World Cup matches, so I'll try my best to wake up for the main event. And jostle with the crowds for shots. And take pictures in the darkness. Someone remember to prod me to go(;

Extra Information:
Fukuoka Now has a really good Introduction to Yamakasa in English. Wondering about those costumes? They have an illustrated guide!
They also visited the all the kazariyama, so if you want pictures of them all, go take a look!  

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