Saturday, 29 September 2007

江戸天下祭 Edo Tenka Matsuri

江戸天下祭 Edo Tenka Matsuri

After the Ghibli museum we met with 欽也さん (Kinya) Alex and Youngki at 新宿 (Shinjuku) station. We wanted to watch a festival, which was going to be held today in 日比谷 (Hibiya).

After eating ピビンパ (Pibinpa), which I can totally recommend, in a Korean restaurant, we went to 日比谷 and looked for the festival.
First we browsed through 日比谷公園 (Hibiya City Park) and then found a place on the street, where we could watch the procession pretty good. Manu and I were already excited, since we knew the festival and floats already from our trip to 川越 (Kawagoe).

As you can see on the pictures, some of the floats were really impressive, and some people, like the guy in the movie, gave a really cool performance. However the festival had one major problem. It was held in one of the major cities in Tokyo. That means it had to for example cross a highway with eight traces. And every time a float wanted to cross police officers had to temporarily stop the traffic. However some cars still crossed, and the festival had to outmaneuver them, other were short before using their horns, the police officers were screaming and the festival people felt utterly confused. Even after crossing the highway the city was just too big and too loud to allow for any festival magic to arise. So only after a hand of floats, it became so boring and depressing that we decided to leave for good.

This means by no means that such festivals are boring. However you should see them, when they are held in small towns. There they can unfold all their magic and mystery. In big cities like 日比谷 this magic is not strong enough to break the black hearts of anonymous hard working ever hurrying city people...

grieving over the black heart of big cities

the highway the parade had to cross

The beginning made a huge army of traditional Korean soldiers and diplomats together with their general

followed by Japanese traditional groups

and eventually the impressive floats

and a dragon

the fox

the fool

we also found the figures, whose significance we had learned in Kawagoe dancing on the floats

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