I never planned on posting photos of Japanese festivals and other touristy things, but the local residents add to the experience of the artists in residence at Shiro Oni Studios in Onishi, Gunma. Some of the festival’s participants also attended Deanna Gabiga‘s show. Enjoy the festivities! Too bad you cannot hear the heartbeat of the taiko drums.
Have to decorate your car with a lucky decoration. Every little bit helps, right?
Was I the only one getting a Westside Story vibe as the team from another area marched into one filled with residents from another team? Rumble in the machi!
The butterflies are back!
Ships on the Concrete Sea
Urban Pirates Start at an Early Age
Some people sit in the summer heat all afternoon to make sure they get a good seat. They might also be providing beverages or shade for participants pulling the daishi, a portable float on wheels.
Everybody Gets Dressed in Their Finest
Those pesky obi belts need to rewound sometimes. That is when a good friend is needed. It would be embarrassing if it flashed open to reveal whatever you did or did not wear underneath. DOes the red ribbon mean she is the best in show for taiko drumming?
Festivals are the only times in Japan when it is socially acceptable to colour your hair, wear extravagant hairstyles, and do outlandish things. On those days, the neighbourhood punks and blue-collar labourers are kings and queens. So many of them look so much more handsome or beautiful in these garish outfits rather than the beige and navy polyester uniforms of their daily lives. Confidence is sexy!
In many festivals of the past, women were not allowed to play the taiko drums. The times are a changin’.
What is a summer festival without your best friends? You wear your hair in the same style, wear the same clothes, and just act silly all day. If Crocs or fake Crocs are all you can afford and they are popular in the big cities, then you wear those too to feel more cosmopolitan, even if takes a few years for trends to trickle down to the rural areas.