Autumn Festival in Arimatsu 1

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     After the kimono lecture, tourists tried to wear yukata, or informal cotton kimono, and went to the town of Arimatsu.

     We saw many people gathering on the way to Temman Shrine.

     There were three beautiful dashi, or floats forward. Each has a few mechanical dolls, and dashi and those dolls are more than 300 years old. We heard lively men’s shouts and some musical accompaniments. 

     All of sudden, a float started spinning around on the road and people shouted for joy.

     All of the three floats stopped at the corner of the street. The men who had controlled the floats started changing the decorations of them. 

     According to one of those men, they were changing the floats to night version. One of them said to me, “Each float is supposed to have 300 paper lanterns at night. The night festival will be very beautiful! Don’t miss it!”

     I don’t know the reason why those men had many bundles of Japanese towels on their waists, but someone gave me one. It seems to be a bringer of good luck.

     A guide explained some special architectural facts on those old buildings in Arimatsu, as like Udatsu, or a special tiled roof, and Namako-kabe, or a diamond shaped wall.

     The both of them were used for fire prevention. It was interesting for me to see those old things and hear the explanations because my area had been newly developed after the war and there was no old building in my neighborhood.

     We saw two goblins on the way to the shrine. One is called Tengu, and one Shojo. They were believed to powerful gods and to give their power to people in the old days. That’s why at the festival someone acts as Tengu or Shojo in the costume and walks and touches people. But for babies, it seems that they were just horrible things.  

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