Yatto yatto sa!Quality: http://smu.gs/1rY2C23 Raw passion separates the good dancers from the amazing, and without question, Hyottoko-ren is loaded with amazing. Each time I see them, I know there is no place they’d rather be, and in the same sense, I too know there is no place I’d rather be.Unfortunately, until next year, Hyottoko-ren are only conducting tryouts as they prepare for next year. Perhaps it’s time to make your debut!If you’d like to know more about Hyottoko-ren: http://www.hyottoko-ren.com/ 
 
Yatto yatto sa!
Quality: http://smu.gs/1rY2C23 

Raw passion separates the good dancers from the amazing, and without question, Hyottoko-ren is loaded with amazing. Each time I see them, I know there is no place they’d rather be, and in the same sense, I too know there is no place I’d rather be.

Unfortunately, until next year, Hyottoko-ren are only conducting tryouts as they prepare for next year. Perhaps it’s time to make your debut!

If you’d like to know more about Hyottoko-ren: http://www.hyottoko-ren.com/ 
Yatto yatto sa!These ladies are from the Shirubaa-ren… which while they have kanji for their team name, they are clearly running a pun on “Silver”… which could itself be any number of puns (elderly, second place, etc.). A matrixed pun-within-a-pun seems perfectly fitting for the “fool’s dance”.More from Matsuri:http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri/ (The Nabeyoko Matsuri is 70% complete… what an eclectic event it was.)More on Shiburaa-ren:http://sirubaa.jp/ 

Yatto yatto sa!

These ladies are from the Shirubaa-ren… which while they have kanji for their team name, they are clearly running a pun on “Silver”… which could itself be any number of puns (elderly, second place, etc.). A matrixed pun-within-a-pun seems perfectly fitting for the “fool’s dance”.

More from Matsuri:http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri/ 
(The Nabeyoko Matsuri is 70% complete… what an eclectic event it was.)

More on Shiburaa-ren:
http://sirubaa.jp/ 

Yatto yatto sa!Quality: http://smu.gs/WbyVfl Although my exposure was limited, I knew from my initial Koenji 2013 shots, that in many ways, Hyottoko-ren defined much of what captured my muse within Awaodori: dynamic yet subtle, graceful yet explosive, song and dance awaken the mind. Through communication with Hyottoko, they revealed their teacher was Uzuki-ren and my imagination was immediately seized. Needless to say, Uzuki-ren did not disappoint!More on Hyottoko-ren: http://www.hyottoko-ren.com/ More on Uzuki-ren: http://www.stannet.ne.jp/uzuki/index.html More from Japanese matsuri: http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri 

Yatto yatto sa!
Quality: http://smu.gs/WbyVfl 

Although my exposure was limited, I knew from my initial Koenji 2013 shots, that in many ways, Hyottoko-ren defined much of what captured my muse within Awaodori: dynamic yet subtle, graceful yet explosive, song and dance awaken the mind. Through communication with Hyottoko, they revealed their teacher was Uzuki-ren and my imagination was immediately seized. Needless to say, Uzuki-ren did not disappoint!

More on Hyottoko-ren: http://www.hyottoko-ren.com/ 
More on Uzuki-ren: http://www.stannet.ne.jp/uzuki/index.html 
More from Japanese matsuri: http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri 

Dakara yamerarenai!Quality: http://smu.gs/1q7EE1S Moments like these are why I remain so captured by matsuri - despite sweltering heat in brutal humidity, dancers give their all spurred on by the cheer of the crowd. If you enjoy my matsuri work, please browse the greater collection of shots:http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri

Dakara yamerarenai!
Quality: http://smu.gs/1q7EE1S 

Moments like these are why I remain so captured by matsuri - despite sweltering heat in brutal humidity, dancers give their all spurred on by the cheer of the crowd. 

If you enjoy my matsuri work, please browse the greater collection of shots:http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri

Yatto yatto sa!Quality: http://smu.gs/1pjf0lt During the rare moments that I get to talk with the dancers, I often discover many have been dancing since their childhood and often they once did, or still do dance with members of their family. A tradition of dance truly must be a wonderful gift to share.Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM

Yatto yatto sa!
Quality: http://smu.gs/1pjf0lt 

During the rare moments that I get to talk with the dancers, I often discover many have been dancing since their childhood and often they once did, or still do dance with members of their family. A tradition of dance truly must be a wonderful gift to share.

Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM

During the second day of the Nabeyoko Summer Matsuri the local fire department carried the Mikoshi in no less than 37C degree (about 99F) humid heat for about 1.5km… brutal!

I won’t profess to know much about the carrying Mikoshi, but I was delighted to see so many of the locals change places with the fire department and bear the load, if only for a few meters. All communities share burdens, but seeing it in such an immediate way left a lasting impression.

I have the developing Nabeyoko gallery here, most of the Mikoshi shots are color (since I don’t do much BW conversions, each one takes much longer for me): http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri/Nabeyoko-Summer-Matsuri-2014/i-PhJLBvF/A

Ei-sa don!Quality: http://smu.gs/1pMfiXi Right before shooting this charming fellow, this is the actual conversation we had."My wife looks like a Filipino!""Uh…?""She does, she does!""Does she… know you think that?""No, don’t tell her, but still, I think they are the most beautiful women in the world so its OK! HAHAHA!"Characters like this guy are why small, local matsuri can be every bit as awesome as the big ones.

Ei-sa don!
Quality: http://smu.gs/1pMfiXi 

Right before shooting this charming fellow, this is the actual conversation we had.

"My wife looks like a Filipino!"
"Uh…?"
"She does, she does!"
"Does she… know you think that?"
"No, don’t tell her, but still, I think they are the most beautiful women in the world so its OK! HAHAHA!"

Characters like this guy are why small, local matsuri can be every bit as awesome as the big ones.

Yatto yatto sa!This is another from the warm up day for the 58th Koenji Awaodori. Hard light into the 135 DC lens makes this ultra soft contrast that’s a bit difficult to manage, but I really enjoyed capturing this formation and the surrounding light.The group here is Edokko Ren, one of the amazing local Koenji teams that’s been dancing for decades.Although I’ve yet to begin sorting past the warm up day, my developing gallery is here:http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri/Awaodori-in-Koenji-2014/

Yatto yatto sa!

This is another from the warm up day for the 58th Koenji Awaodori. Hard light into the 135 DC lens makes this ultra soft contrast that’s a bit difficult to manage, but I really enjoyed capturing this formation and the surrounding light.

The group here is Edokko Ren, one of the amazing local Koenji teams that’s been dancing for decades.

Although I’ve yet to begin sorting past the warm up day, my developing gallery is here:http://www.jasonarney.com/Galleries/Matsuri/Awaodori-in-Koenji-2014/

“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” - Vince Lombardi Having ran up and down Koenji with a host of gear for two and a half days my weak, old, slightly overweight body is utterly broken. But as the good man Vince says, I lie exhausted on the battlefield, but my muse has truly come alight.I hope everyone can make the 59th Koenji Awaodori! And the 60th, and the 61st, and the 62nd… (Oh, technical blah blah, this is from the Nikon 135 DC, certainly a difficult lens, but one with a very colorful personality.)

“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” - Vince Lombardi 

Having ran up and down Koenji with a host of gear for two and a half days my weak, old, slightly overweight body is utterly broken. But as the good man Vince says, I lie exhausted on the battlefield, but my muse has truly come alight.

I hope everyone can make the 59th Koenji Awaodori! And the 60th, and the 61st, and the 62nd… 

(Oh, technical blah blah, this is from the Nikon 135 DC, certainly a difficult lens, but one with a very colorful personality.)

Eisa!Quality: http://smu.gs/1mfccFZ(full size version was rejected)The more I learn, the more I can’t help but feel immense respect towards matsuri performers - a significant chunk their life is spent in training before they can even step into the street and entertain the summer crowds. This group (linked below) is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, they must swell with pride knowing eager youngsters will carry the tradition onward.You can learn more about them here: http://www.hyottoko-ren.com/

Eisa!
Quality: http://smu.gs/1mfccFZ
(full size version was rejected)

The more I learn, the more I can’t help but feel immense respect towards matsuri performers - a significant chunk their life is spent in training before they can even step into the street and entertain the summer crowds. This group (linked below) is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, they must swell with pride knowing eager youngsters will carry the tradition onward.

You can learn more about them here: http://www.hyottoko-ren.com/

Yatto yatto sa!Quality: http://smu.gs/1t9Rzz1 Caught a more local Awaodori in Koujiya (near Haneda) at the beginning of Agust. Even though it was a local event, it did attract a few high caliber teams! Certainly worth the effort next year.Featured here is a member of ひょっとこ連. You can learn more about them:https://www.facebook.com/hyottokoren

Yatto yatto sa!
Quality: http://smu.gs/1t9Rzz1 

Caught a more local Awaodori in Koujiya (near Haneda) at the beginning of Agust. Even though it was a local event, it did attract a few high caliber teams! Certainly worth the effort next year.

Featured here is a member of ひょっとこ連. You can learn more about them:https://www.facebook.com/hyottokoren