Archive for September, 2011

Since I’ve been singing the praises of the Kishiwada Danjiri festival, and the lantern parade that follows it, it only makes sense to follow up with a few photos of Kishiwada-jo, one of my favorite castles in the Kansai area.  Like most castles in Japan (Himeji-jo aside), Kishiwada-jo is a reconstruction; the original castle burned […]

At night the danjiri are decked out in lanterns to sail slowly through the city streets.  The pulling crews, done with their daytime racing around, slow their pace to a walking march and young children are recruited to help pull the danjiri.  The musicians as well are replaced by a younger crew who are just […]

This year, for the first time in several years, I wasn’t able to attend the Kishiwada Danjiri festival, one of my very favorite Japanese festivals.  There are several festivals in the Kansai area that involve the parading of danjiri  — essentially giant, elaborately carved portable shrines on wheels — through city streets, but the Kishiwada Danjiri festival […]

The recent increase in popularity of Osaka’s Shinsekai area among Japanese tourists has brought with it a proliferation of the Billiken, the “God of Things as They Ought to Be.”  The original Billiken (pictured directly below) sits at the top of Tsutenkaku Tower, and there have always been one or two “false idols” in the […]

Lately on the island I’ve been playing a lot of pick-up soccer, which has been entirely fun and usually involves an age range of from about nine to about 78, and a skill range of just about nil at one end (that’s the end that I’m closest to) to ‘having played on the university soccer […]