Monday, July 23, 2012

Gionsa Matsuri, 2012

Kagoshima had been gearing up for the annual Gion festival for weeks in advance.  This is one of the bigger local festivals, where Tram Street is closed off to traffic, and several hundred men and women carry portable shrines about a kilometer up the street and then back down the other side.  The bigger shrines are set up around the city leading up to the event day, so people can look at them up close.  The festival itself took place on Sunday, July 22, which was the first full day where I didn't have work and I could walk around with the cast off.  So, naturally, a major storm front blew in right around noon, with lightning and heavy rain.  I was convinced that the event would be cancelled, but after a couple hours, the rain slacked off and I went out for food shopping.  The parade was still in full bore.

I took the opportunity to test the new camera again, but it wasn't until I got home that evening that I realized I'd been messing with the settings a week ago, and had left the camera in 600x480 mode.  So, I think the colors turned out well, but of course all the shots are too small. Sigh.

There was also a group of men and women carrying these really long umbrellas on bamboo poles.  It took several people to get the pole upright, then one would take it and either try to hold it one-handed, or prop it on their forehead or chin.  While the pole would tip over and come dangerously close to taking out the streetcar wires, the rest of the group would run in to try to prevent that from actually happening.

(One of the umbrellas is starting to fall over, and the group is futilely trying to keep it upright.)

The movie mode works really well, though, and I finally got around to downloading movie maker from the Microsoft site to add a title frame.

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