Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Myouen-ji Matsuri, Part 2

The Myouen-ji Matsuri, what I saw of it on Sunday, is the prototypical event aimed at the entire family. Of course there's the required food and game stalls, with okonomiyaki on a stick, yaki soba, and shaved ice. But they also had a sumo ring set up on the grounds for teams of elementary kids to compete in, and a stage on the other side of the walkway for a wide variety of other activities.

Ijuin embraces its history as a samurai town (Ijuin castle is about a mile away but I didn't have the energy to visit it), with artwork of samurai around the city covering bridges and tunnel walls.

(Archery competitors)

This also translated into Japanese archery contests and lots of actors wearing armor. (With the way the archery field was set up, there was no way to take a good photo of the competitors shooting at the targets.)

(Children's sumo, easily the most popular spectator sport.)

The stage activities I saw included high school girls creating large banners with Chinese calligraphy, a woman from Gifu here to do some public speaking, and a school orchestra. As mentioned in yesterday's entry, there was also the Ashi-yu, with 20 to 30 people at a time soaking their feet in the spa water.

(Two of the calligraphy students.)

Back out on the main street running through town, there were several brass marching bands, and the Satsuma mascots which would stop and pose for photos with anyone that walked by.

(Line to the shrine to give prayers.)

When I went to the train station to return home, I noticed the large bronze statue in front. It's of one of the early Shimadzu lords, and I'm pretty sure it was made by Nakamura, whose art museum I visited some weeks earlier as part of the Gurutsu stamp rally.

(Mascots on the parade route.)

(Shimadzu lord)

(Front of Ijuin station.)

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