Sunday, July 22, 2018

Ogionsa, July 21, 2018

I'd been looking forward to Ogionsa for weeks. It's the local summer parade of portable shrines (mikoshi) along Streetcar Street. It generally never changes, so I just wanted to take a few highlight photos for the blog, and just kind of sit back and enjoy the noise. Naturally, we had a typhoon come up from Okinawa Saturday morning, bringing rain all day.

The typhoon was predicted to swing off towards Shanghai, so Ogionsa wasn't cancelled, but the fringes of the weather system did hit us. Actually, it was weird - we'd get really heavy downpours for 20-30 minutes then a lull, followed by another downpour. The heavy rains kept coinciding with my visiting Central Park to take pictures of the entertainments on the live stage. And, the humidity was so bad it fogged up the camera lens.

The stage events started at 4 PM with the official announcements from the organizers, and was followed by a taiko group. Initially, there were maybe 30 people sitting out at the main tables in the middle of the rain, and another 50-60 farther back under the tents. As the rains got heavier, the people under the umbrellas kept thinning out.

There were about 4 food tables, and another 6-7 booths for children's games. But, the expected crowds never materialized, and the booths were mostly used by adults to escape the rain.

Things ran from 4 to 8 PM, and I had a break between my classes from 4 to 6:30. I got to the park and prepared to record the taiko group, just as the rain came down harder. I managed to get a couple photos before the music ended.

Next up was Hayato Kenshin, one of the Kagoshima masked mascots. Basically, this is a scripted mascot play, and I've seen this before. I went into Tenmonkan to look at the mikoshi groups before heading for Tully's coffee shop for a snack, and to sit and read some manga. Eventually, I went back outside, and the rain had stopped. I returned to the park, and the rain flooded down again. This pattern repeated several times before I gave up and went back to the school again at the end of my break. There was no point in taking more photos of the stage because the rain ruined them.

In Tenmonkan, though, they did have some of the mikoshi being paraded around the arcades. Lots of people taking photos and video. Occasionally, the groups would have to cross the bigger streets between roofed areas, and people got really drenched really fast. But they seemed to enjoy themselves anyway.

Overall, Saturday wasn't as much fun as I'd hoped it would be. After my last class ended, I went home, had dinner, and worked on my blog. Day two of Ogionsa was going to start at 11 AM Sunday, and I wanted to get up early for that, if it wasn't raining.

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