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:
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!
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
Right before shooting this charming fellow, this is the actual conversation we had.
"My wife looks like a Filipino!"
"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/
“….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.)
(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/
Another enjoyable aspect of local events is the tension and wonder in the air before the matsuri begins. Nervous minds will soon calm as music lifts the soul.
Yatto yatto sa!
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
Another from the Nabeyoko Summer Matsuri in Nakano. I can’t deny, while clusters and lines of dancers are always appealing, I prefer these moments of graceful power.
Don! Taiko drummer readies his mind and breath for the first strike during the small but colorful Nabeyoko Summer Festival in Nakano (Tokyo), Japan.