When we first arrived at the Ihouse, eyes still glazed over from a lack of sleep, we had our orientation. Important people whose jobs and duties were quite important explained to us that we had missed several big festivals, and talked about how great they were.
Then he explained that a festival was happening real soon, and that we should go! he also said we would get free Tabi, which are those neat shoe-sock-shoes.
so i went, got free shoe socks, and watched as twenty or more men lifted this great big shrine on their shoulders, and started reeling us along with them. Some people, who believed they were smart, knew that their shoulders would probably hurt, and stayed in the back, only to be coaxed into helping every so often, as they DID sign up for it, and getting free socks without doing stuff is never a good way to start a school year.
Other people, who also believed they were smart, jumped under the shrine without any real motivation for doing so, except that they got to become an actor in a cultural event (as opposed to an observer), only to be coaxed into helping the minute they decided they needed a break, stepped out of line, and got motioned back underneath by the nice people running the thing.
I was a part of the latter group. I was quite excited by everything, and i gave it my all, until i realized the carrying the quite heavy shrine was going to be a four hour task. Then i gave it my all against my will, because i was pulled into the panic again and again. And long into the night, dog tired, i still carried that thing on my shoulders.
and the more i carried, the more i started chanting with everyone and yelling and all that mess. And it was fun, even though i wasn’t quite sure what was happening, what everything represented, and all that jazz. But i do know that at one point, i was way up front, and the man asked what my name was. And when i told him, he started a loud chant for me, and everyone cheered my name for a bit. It made me feel like less of a Gaijin, which means foreigner.
In front of the shrine we carried, there was a group playing the taiko drums and either a Ryuteki or a komabue, which are traditional Japanese flutes. (if i’m not mistaken, i’m pretty sure they were a Komagaku group, which plays court music with solely winds and percussion.) Here is a little snippet.
Japanese Festival Sep 16th 2012 (by TheJacksoo)
Anyhow, It was all quite moving and different, and it was definitely a good way to start the year.
Hello. Nice for you to drop by. This is the warm up for a project i am going to do. I like to think its me starting and getting past all obstacles of habit.
I mean, the hardest part of anything is starting, right?
Let me explain. I am going to Japan. While there, i am going to have this as a public journal (my private journal will be hidden, no peekin at it). And i want to actually use it. I suppose i don’t care if i have an audience. But this is me working on the use of my FILDI.
Here i will say, “Look at me, i am in a different place with different customs and a tenuous grasp of the language! isn’t culture wonderful?”
And i will hope to say that by “showing” you my trip, Not just telling you what i do!
Telling you is kinda boring. It gets all that info across, sure. But where is the romance? Where is the adventure? Where is that journey i am trying to take you on with me anyways?
Well to answer myself, it is going to come around in September. Then i get to walk around wide eyed and silly faced everywhere i go. Making friends. Getting angry at shy people (the kind that go out of their way to be shy, not the shy-by-nature-people). Drinking a bit i suppose. Ok, drinking the appropriate amount.
And you get to come along with me! It will be fun, promise. I’ll find art and show ya, I’ll record videos and shows and neat things! I’ll also talk about real interesting sociocultural concepts as i adjust to life in japan!
For example, Right now i am fascinated with the construct of traditional gender roles as they relate to power. So the question is, how related are they? And all that.
Ans: (pretty much completely)
Anyways, until then, i am warming up.
Which means i will just talk about myself, review movies (not like “this movie was awesome! :P”, but like, actually study movies), talk about politics and abstractions and the news. So on, so forth. Really, whatever i wanna do.
Alright. See you soon. Loves ya.