Autumn Festival in Arimatsu 3

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     After the English guided tour, I went to a café with some participants. I’d have like to see the night version floats and asked them to stay until the night festival started, they had to go back home and I decided to stay there by myself. 

     At six o’clock in the evening, it was almost dark and many men with paper lanterns started gathering to the station of the festival.  

     After a while, men with a big drum started walking, chanting something. 

     And then a kind of parade started. Many men walked slowly singing with bands in the dark. It was very quiet and solemn.  

     I thought that I would be able to see the float with 300 paper lanterns and followed them. After a while, red colored objects came into view. Floats.  

     They shed their day time clothes. Each one had their night curtains and 300 paper lanterns instead and was so beautiful. 

     Since I was alone and already took many pictures, I decided to go home and started waking to the station. But I ran into some participants of the guided tour before the station and returned to the festival together with them. 

     Before the floats, we waited they started moving. But all of them except one lady had to go home before it started. She and I waited chattering. Actually she was one of my teachers at the English guide training course.

     Finally at six thirty, people started tagging ropes and the floats started moving.  

     On the top of the float, some men shouted and directed to men who were pushing the float.  

     Those pushing men controlled the float with giving their weights inside or outside by the direction. 

     It was very exciting that big floats passed through the narrow street. There was a musical accompaniment in the bottom of the float and cheered up other men. 

     The festival showed the two faces; day time one and night one. 

     I remembered I hadn’t seen any women at the festival except for tourists. Basically Japanese festival is men’s and their god. 

 

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