Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dec. 2

Togara Fest

I had to do a lot of shopping that I'd really have been happier putting off for later during the week, when nothing else was happening. Unfortunately, it wasn't my decision. Part of the shopping took me to Yamakataya, in Tenmonkan, but not until 3 PM. I made a deliberate run to the open area in front of Lotteria, in time to take a few photos of the Tokara Fest. The Tokara Islands are an 81 mile-long chain of small islands located between Yakushima and Amami.

The main selling point at the event was the Akuseki Island boze. Akusekijima (the name means "evil rock island") is a very small island within the chain, and cannot sustain many tourists. 5 small guest houses can hold only up to 65-66 visitors, and the only drinking water is rainwater. The "boze" is a traditional local god, and the islanders put on boze masks and costumes during obon (the 1-week period during August when dead ancestors visit the living) to frighten the children into having good health.

Photo cut-out board.

There was some kind of an announcement stage, but I didn't see anyone in a boze costume, so I guess the main reason for it was to give the advertisers some place to stand when they talked.

There were maybe 50 people sitting at the tables, eating lunch. But, the food tables were being cleaned up, and I didn't see a menu or prices. I went into Yamakataya for lunch myself, and when I got back out at 4 PM, the rest of the tables and booths were being torn down. I would have liked to try the food, or seen what the stage events were. Sigh.

Amu Plaza Amami Marugoto Fair

I wasn't able to finish up shopping and everything until just before 5 PM. By then, the Marugoto Fair at Amu Plaza (which was apparently for Amami island), was also long over. Looking at the schedule, most of the live performances were PR of some form or other. Friday did have two shows by female pop singer Sachi. I've seen her before, and she's ok. Saturday was the Amami Sisters, who do traditional folk music (I uploaded a video of them to youtube a few weeks ago for the event down at the Volunteer Center). I kind of like them. And on Sunday was A Taste of Honey, a Japanese big band that I don't care for that much.

Either way, I would have liked to have taken more photos of the foamheads (if any) for the blog. Double-sigh. A frustrating weekend, knowing that things are happening and not being able to watch much of any of it. At least, I got some nice photos of a heron.

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