Saturday, May 26, 2018

150th Anniversary Day

Yesterday was the big event day for celebrating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Meiji Restoration (when control of the government was forcibly reversed from the Shogunate (chief warlord's council) to the emperor Meiji. The city of Kagoshima, where two of the main Restoration actors were born, Saigo and Okubo) has been promoting this anniversary for a couple years, and advertising the event day for a month. The event included school children performing live music in an event hall, a performance by the woman that sings the opening theme song for the NHK Segodon TV series, hot air balloon rides, various events at the Kagoshima university baseball stadium that would feature an air show by the Blue Impulse precision aerial team, and a parade from the Saigo statue in Central Park to the Okubo statue near the main train station.

The weather during the week was good, but by Friday the forecasts were predicting rain on Saturday. Friday evening, announcements went out on the radio that the outdoor portions of the event would be cancelled, but that they'd still do the indoor music performances. That meant no parade, no air show, and no balloon rides.

I had classes from 2-4 PM, and 7-8 PM on Saturday, so there was really no way I'd be able to get to the university for the events at the baseball stadium, but I was looking forward to taking photos of the parade, which would have gone right in front of the apartment at 11 AM. And, while the Blue Impulse air show was to have been at 2 PM, I could have conducted that class as a free talk from the roof of the school, where we could have seen the fly-overs.

The rain started early morning, and had picked up around 11 AM. There was still a heavy drizzle when I walked into the school at 1:30, but the sun was coming out at 3 PM, and the sky turned clear shortly after that. It was still pretty windy, so the hot air balloons would have been grounded, but the air show could have been held if it had been pushed back an hour or two. Sunday morning, as I type this up, the weather is absolutely beautiful again.

Apparently, the outdoor activities had been completely cancelled, rather than simply postponed. The city always overreacts when there are predictions of bad weather during big events. Sigh.

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