Onishi Summer Festival

I never planned on posting photos of Japanese festivals and other touristy things, but the local residents add to the experience of the artists in residence at Shiro Oni Studios in Onishi, Gunma. Some of the festival’s participants also attended Deanna Gabiga‘s show. Enjoy the festivities! Too bad you cannot hear the heartbeat of the taiko drums.

Kjell Hahn with Artists and Locals

Lori Ono in Action
Adults vs Children
Urban Mountain Climbing
Artists on the RIght; Drummers on the Left

DSC00235

DSC00233

DSC00232_2_2

DSC00232_2_2_2

DSC00236

DSC00238

DSC00245

DSC00250

DSC00239

DSC00241

DSC00255

Have to decorate your car with a lucky decoration. Every little bit helps, right?

DSC00257

DSC00259

Was I the only one getting a Westside Story vibe as the team from another area marched into one filled with residents from another team? Rumble in the machi!

DSC00260

The butterflies are back!

DSC00261

DSC00262

DSC00263

DSC00264

Ships on the Concrete Sea

DSC00265_2

DSC00298
Captains of Their Vessels

DSC00267

DSC00289_5

 

DSC00270

DSC00294

Urban Pirates Start at an Early Age

DSC00301

DSC00246

DSC00251

DSC00289_3

DSC00292
Everybody Pulls Their Weight Regardless of Age

DSC00272

Some people sit in the summer heat all afternoon to make sure they get a good seat. They might also be providing beverages or shade for participants pulling the daishi, a portable float on wheels.

DSC00271

DSC00273

DSC00278

DSC00286

DSC00281

DSC00279

DSC00275

Everybody Gets Dressed in Their Finest

DSC00268

DSC00277

DSC00289_4

DSC00284

Those pesky obi belts need to rewound sometimes. That is when a good friend is needed. It would be embarrassing if it flashed open to reveal whatever you did or did not wear underneath. DOes the red ribbon mean she is the best in show for taiko drumming?

DSC00285

DSC00288

DSC00295

DSC00309

DSC00290

DSC00296

Festivals are the only times in Japan when it is socially acceptable to colour your hair, wear extravagant hairstyles, and do outlandish things. On those days, the neighbourhood punks and blue-collar labourers are kings and queens. So many of them look so much more handsome or beautiful in these garish outfits rather than the beige and navy polyester uniforms of their daily lives. Confidence is sexy!

In many festivals of the past, women were not allowed to play the taiko drums. The times are a changin’.

DSC00299

DSC00306

What is a summer festival without your best friends? You wear your hair in the same style, wear the same clothes, and just act silly all day. If Crocs or fake Crocs are all you can afford and they are popular in the big cities, then you wear those too to feel more cosmopolitan, even if takes a few years for trends to trickle down to the rural areas.

DSC00307

Care to come in from the outside for a nice chat?