Thursday, August 6, 2015

Yukata Matsuri Day 1

(Seven Colors during their practice routine.)

As part of the month-long Rokugatsu-tou festivities, the Tenmonkan shopping district decided to have their "yukata matsuri" (evening wear festival) on Aug. 1 and 2. For the most part, the idea was simply to have people wearing yukata and walking around Tenmonkan, although a lot of shop clerks treated this as an excuse for cosplay. I guess that customers in yukata got discounts at some of the shops, but I'm not sure about that. I'm told that while yukata look more comfortable than street clothes, it's hotter than wearing a t-shirt and cut-offs.

The walkways in Tenmonkan had booths set up for food, games and tarot readings. There were two stages that I know of, one across from Lotteria and the other next to 7-11. The Lotteria stage seemed to just have some kind of marketing company running an advertising campaign, but I never did see what it was they were promoting. The surrounding space had a 3D printer set up from Mutoh, which was interesting, and a booth with horribly overpriced snack foods ($1 for a tiny cup of popcorn). Overall, the Lotteria space was a bust.

Here, we have Nanko. This is a drinking game that originated in the Kagoshima area, and is a variation on rock-paper-scissors. The idea is that you have three sticks that you hide behind your back. You and your opponent disclose one of the three sticks, and one or the other of you wins. Apparently there are big competitions to see who the best player is. However, the organizers today just wanted to introduce the game to kids.

(Nanko sticks and playing board.)

Meanwhile, the 7-11 stage had some live dancing and music. Unfortunately, the first performance was supposed to be at 3 PM, and I had to start work at 2 PM. I had a 1-hour break at 4, which gave me the opportunity to watch Tsumuginchu, a folk duo from the island of Amami (a couple hours south by ferry from Kagoshima). If you're not familiar with this kind of music, the below video may be interesting to watch.

(There was a small portable lantern shrine set up to one side. No one carried it around at all, so I guess it was just for display.)

Local idol group Seven Colors had been practicing on stage when I walked by at 2 PM, so I took a couple photos of them, in part to show what yukata look like. I finished work at 9 PM, and all the booths and both stages were being torn down, so I missed 90% of the activities. Things were a little better on Sunday.

(Back side of the lantern.)

(One of the booths on Saturday was promoting tourist travel to Tanegashima, the location of Japan's rocket launch pads.)

(The lantern at night, plus yukata girls.)

Direct youtube link

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