Sunday, November 8, 2015
Nov. 1 mixed events
I wanted to see the Karuta competition on Sunday a week ago, but I also had to get ready for a 4-day trip in Thailand. This kind of restricted a lot of my plans. I got to the karuta arena, which was the same place where I'd watched a karate tournament a year or two ago, at 10 AM. After that, I returned to the main train station.
Kokubunsai is a 3-week festival being held in Kagoshima, made up of various "national cultural activities" (some of which include Noh theater, opera and classical ballroom dancing). The below video shows part of the 2-day karuta tournament that ran Oct. 31 and Nov. 1st. Karuta uses playing cards, and the announcer calls out one of the cards and competitors try to be the first to slap the correct card away. There are a lot of rules for the audience to be quiet, and the closest I could sit was on the second floor of the bleachers. So, occasionally the camera had trouble focusing, and I couldn't move around to get better shots of the cards and the players. The schedule booklet listed competitors from all over Japan, as well as France and Korea.
Direct youtube link
One of the other events running as part of the 3-week Kokubunsai matsuri is the Tenmonkan Art Fest. Most of the art pieces are things like masks with pieces cut out and turned into flower planters, or a tent made of umbrellas. But, this bug was definitely worth snapping a photo of. I guess it's about 15-20 feet long.
Furusato, Day 2
And I continued to the river to watch some more of the Furusato festival being put on by the city. The booths and wandering actors were the same, but the stage shows were different this time. First, they had Saigo Takamori - Saigo-Don - come out to promote Kagoshima.
Then, the same stage had a "Meiji era fashion show". The Meiji Restoration took place in the latter half of the 1800's, and was marked by the opening up of the national borders to foreign trade. The idea here is to show off the clothing worn during this time in Japan, but having the actors stay in character, talking to each other as soldiers, a local lord, a philosopher, and various fashionable ladies in little skits, rather than as models. The announcer off-stage described the costumes as if she were at a fashion designer's show.
At the main train station, another part of Kokubunsai was the 2-day Manga Fest. Lots of booths showing amateur and professional manga art, some anime, and the event stage. On Saturday, there was a 4-woman band that wasn't that great so I didn't try recording them. On Sunday, all I saw on stage was a quiz game.
(Part of the quiz game.)
Most notable were the tables that apparently held editors or artists representing some of the national manga magazines (Big Comic, Jump). There were a few people sitting on chairs nearby to the left, waiting for their turn to get advice or feedback from the professionals.
And a graffiti wall that anyone could draw on. I drew Killroy.
I returned home at noon and continued packing for the trip. I had hoped to come back to the manga fest later in the afternoon, because the DJ that had been performing at the Halloween party Friday night was also at the manga fest Sunday as part of the booth entertainers. She recognized me from the hip bump dance and we talked for a minute before she had to keep working. I wanted to get her facebook ID to give her the Halloween party photo I'd taken, but things didn't work out and I wasn't able to leave the apartment until after the event was over. Sigh.
Hello Kitty Road Barriers
Just when you think that it can't get any worse...