Monday, July 25, 2016

Ogionsa 2016, Day 2

On Saturday, one of my students mentioned that on Sunday he was going to take his son to the aquarium at Dolphin Port, and then go watch Ogionsa. He said that the mikoshi parade was going to start at 10 AM, and that's the time I thought I remembered from previous years. I got up late on Sunday, and figured I'd get out the door at 1 PM and see what I could catch on camera. So, I got to Central Park a few minutes later, and it looked like a couple of the mikoshi groups were just starting to stage their entrance to the parade, which was 4-5 blocks away at Streetcar Street, which seemed strange to me. I cut through Tenmonkan, and encountered another group that was also getting set up in the middle of the shopping district. I continued over to Izuro street, at the south end of the parade route, and there were still cars zipping along the street. That's when I tried tracking down an advertising poster to see if it had the schedule printed on it. It took a bit, but I finally located one poster along the street, and the schedule said that set-up would start at 1:30 PM, and the parade itself would go from 2:30 to 5 PM. I went back home to work on the computer for an hour.

At 2:30 PM, the fireworks went off at Terukuni shrine to indicate the start of the matsuri. I got out the door again at 3 PM. Finally, I could watch the parade. At one point, the announcer stated that the last of the mikoshi had been added to the route, bringing the number this year up to 54 portable shrines, total. I still think this  is less that what they had two years ago, but it's better than last year. However, one thing missing this year, that was here in 2015, was the food booths. There were no food booths like the ones at Rokugatsu-gou last week. The only tables were for drinks and shaved ice desserts, run by the shop owners in front of their own stores. That was disappointing, but all of the food is over-priced anyway, and I rarely can bring myself to spending money for any of it. I did get one large highball at one table, for 400 yen ($4 USD). That was good.

At the beginning of the staging, the primary attraction for Ogionsa - the cart with the two "princesses" - was being prepared at the head of the route. I took this opportunity to take a couple photos of the women. It was a hot muggy day, so that make-up, the heavy costumes and wigs must have been uncomfortable during the entire time.

Children's mikoshi.

Tengu (long-nosed mountain demon). He would walk a few feet, then pose for pictures.

Every year, there's a different horse in the parade. This one was not happy at having to wear a bridle.

One of the medium-sized mikoshi.

I'm not sure who this guy is. But, each of the mikoshi groups would present themselves to him at the end of Streetcar Street (where the route turns left to go to Izuro street), and he would then tell them to do their best. Generally, he just sat in his chair and looked bored.

I just had to get a shot of the guy in the middle of the crowd. He looks prototypical gangsta.
I took 20 minutes of video, and about 40 photos, mostly with the big camera. It gave me a lot of trouble this time, and I'm not happy about that. The camera locks into a loop where it can't decide if it's in Auto mode or Sports Scene, flipping back and forth and not letting me do anything else. Sometimes it wouldn't recognize my changing the settings knob, nor would it focus when I pushed the shoot button. It wouldn't even start recording when I pressed that button. I'd have to turn the camera off then back on every 10-15 minutes just to get it to reset. So, that cut into the time that I could have spent taking more photos.

At 4:30, the announcer said that the street was going to be opened to traffic again soon, and that the mikoshi were going to have to be taken back to their staging areas. At about 4:45, the announcer declared the matsuri to be finished. So I went home and tried to edit the video files. At 7 PM, the fireworks went off at Terukuni again, to indicate that Ogionsa had officially ended. But... for some reason, Microsoft Movie Maker had dropped to a crawl when I imported the first 7 minutes of files to it. Some days ago, I'd talked to one guy that edits his movies on his Apple smartphone, and he'd said that he could manipulate his videos as he liked, and upload them to the net within 15 minutes. With Movie Maker, the videos have to be converted to thumbnails first, which generally takes 20 minutes right there for a 7 minute movie. This time, though, the files were only 40% converted after an hour and a half. I canceled the conversion and rebooted the computer. This time, the files converted a lot faster, but it still took 3 hours to convert, edit and export the finished movies, not including upload times to youtube. I'm getting very disgusted with Microsoft stuff, and I'm seriously thinking about getting a used Mac... On top of which, after Norton messed up and had to be reinstalled, I can no longer upload files to youtube from Firefox (Google Chrome works fine, but I don't like the feel of Chrome). Sigh...

Direct youtube link to video 1

Direct youtube link to video 2

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