Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kanda Matsuri, 2009, Day 1

According to Wikipedia, Kanda Matsuri (Kanda Festival), is one of the three big Shinto festivals held in Tokyo. It started in the 1600's to celebrate Tokugawa Ieyasu's victory at Sekigahara, and is currently also held in honor of the god enshrined in Kanda Myojin. Kanda Matsuri is held in alternating years with Sannou Matsuri, on the Saturday and Sunday closest to May 15.

On Saturday (May 9), some of the portable shrines were set up at the taxi circle in front of the Akihabara JR train station. In addition, some tents were raised for use by the workers (mainly as dining areas), and musicians played flutes and drums. One small parade (at least the one that I saw) was held around 4 PM, and consisted of a tengu (long-nosed, red-faced demon) leading some carts decorated with figures of a chicken and an ox, and two of the 7 Chinese lucky gods.

The parade started at Kanda Myojin temple, snaked down to Chuu-ou Dori, turned in front of the UDX building, and ended at the taxi circle in front of the station. As can be seen from some of the photos, there weren't that many people in the parade or that many watching it. But, the tengu was really popular with photographers.

The rest of the album can be viewed here.


bartman905 said...

I attended this festival as well - we must have been there around the same time (late afternoon) as I was one of those photographers taking pictures of the Tengu.

I also went the next day with all the portable shrine processions.

Took lots of pictures and videos so I need to sort through all of them before I write my blog post (maybe I'll just steal yours ;-) ...

TSOTE said...

You may not want to take mine - you have the better camera. We need to hook up sometime. Let me know when you're next in Akihabara.

I got home from work at 10 PM last night, ate dinner, and color-corrected the 35+ shots I'd taken of the matsuri over the weekend, and posted them to Media Fire. Then I wrote up this morning's blog, saved it and went to bed around 1 AM. Got up this morning, posted the blog entry and then wrote tomorrow's entry. So, the commentary for Sunday's portion of the parade will "air" tomorrow.

bartman905 said...

Wow, you are very efficient in your photo workflow. I took over 500 pictures (probably not a good idea, eh?) and also a number of videos so it will take me some time (maybe till next year ... lol).

I'll certainly let you know next time I am in Akiba (usually weekends - maybe we can have lunch or coffee during your break).