Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May Fun

May has been a fun month, as I got to go to sumo not once, but twice! Thank you to C. for winning tickets and not being able to attend. (C. is a fellow missionary in the city, and no -- I did not wish that on her! Don't worry, she and I went together a different day). This a picture of the sumo stadium, called the Kokugikan.

C. and I alsp went to a festival in Ochanomizu. (Yes, I know – where??) Ochanomizu is about a half hour train ride from my house, or a nice hour-long walk.

On this beautiful Saturday morning, C. and I explored the Kanda Matsuri (Kanda festival). We ate delicious food (festival food is like fair food in the U.S. – delicious and not necessarily healthy, but not so common as to worry overmuch about the latter!).

There was dancing and music. Japanese drumming, called taiko, is amazing. Unfortunately, I was not in a good place to get a picture. Just take my word for it. It is exciting to watch, and thrilling to listen to. At left is the drum, though the man here is just practicing; it isn't a performance.

This a "portable shrine" that several men will carry through the streets when it is ready -- here they are getting it ready. During this festival, we saw many such shrines -- rather like floats in a parade, except these are carried on the shoulders of a group of people.

There was even a small one that a group of children were pulling with long ropes -- that was very cute!

Here are more musicians. Although not as exciting as Taiko, this was interesting. I don't know what it is called, but it is very traditional.

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