Festivals: modern and traditional
Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
98Trip End Aug 06, 2009
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On Saturday, Yuki and I went to Sendai for the Johzenji Street Jazz Festival. We did a lot more wandering than I would've liked, but it was still fun. We did stick around to listen to two funk/R&B/soul bands: Super Soul Power and Ohanamigakudanwww.myspace.com/ohanamigakudan . Both groups were extremely talented and energetic. Unfortunately my camera decided to crap out on me so I had to resort to my cell phone for pictures.
We also went into a calligraphy exhibit. It was like poetry combined with painting (or in some cases, wood carving). On our way back to the train station, we stopped by Claire's-- yes, the store all of us girls went to when we were in middle school. Only here, the high school and college girls were the customers. I actually liked shopping there because the stuff was organized into different styles: punk, hime-kei and lolita, cutesy, and Bohemian. I'm definitely going to have to go to Sendai every month or two to get my city/arts fix. It's just like New York but not as crazy (unless there's a festival).
Today, I went with Hiroko, a fellow teacher at school #1, to the Haneko Odori Festival in Monou (a town that's part of Ishinomaki and is right next to Toyosato-cho, Tome-shi). She studied in American so she's practically fluent in English. Before we went to Monou, she introduced to me to her mother-in-law, who said I should be able to get all the hot Japanese boys because I'm kawaii and radiate fun, happy energy
At the festival, we saw kagura and Haneko odori dances. Kagura combines dance with theatre and has Shinto origins. The performances often tell a mythological story. Haneko odori is a dance that involves bouncing steps and fans. It's traditionally performed to pray for a good harvest. As fall approaches and rice harvesting begins, many festivals ensue. It was cool to see both dances because they weren't like any of the other ones I've seen.
Then, Hiroko took me to her uncle's Chinese restaurant for lunch. Then we went to a shop that was like the Japanese version of Spencer's. The store had sections devoted to various characters, like Stitch, Totoro, and even the yellow smiley face. I had to control myself when faced with not only a bunch of stuffed Totoro, but other Miyazaki characters. I did buy a Totoro pencil board; that has its practical uses. After that, we went to a department store so that I could check out their cameras. I wound up buying a Nikon CoolPix S700, which was less than $200.
If y'all are curious about all the earthquakes that I may be experiencing, go to this site: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/15011000391.html It's got a list of all the seismic activity recorded in the past week. You'll want to click on anything that says "Miyagi-ken" though I've felt ones that originated in Iwate-ken and Hokkaido. When you get to the table of all the "stations", keep an eye out for "TomeshiToyomamachi." That'd be my little town.
_-nen sei - _ year students
hime-kei - "princess-style", a fashion trend that combines the sexiness of gal with the frills of lolita; it involves big curls, pink, roses, pearls, sparklies, and of course, tiaras (if you're unfamiliar with any of the street fashion trends, Google is your friend)
kawaii - cute
ken - prefecture; shi - city; cho and machi - town