Archive for the ‘festival’ Category

your name

30Mar17

It might seem a bit facetious to link Your Name (君の名は), the Japanese animated sensation of 2016, with the trauma and mourning of a documentary like Trace of Breath. Your Name, which I’m going to refer to as Kimi no Na wa from this point on (because it simply feels more natural) is a kind […]


trace of breath

26Mar17

Komori Haruka’s documentary, Trace of Breath (息の跡) tells the story of Sato Teiichi, a survivor of the 2011 tsunami who has returned to the city of Rikuzentakata to reestablish the seed shop that he used to run there. In addition to selling seeds, however, Sato-san has also written an account of his experience of the […]


This last autumn — way back on October 17th — I trucked over to Sasayama to attend the annual Sasayama Autumn Festival (篠山秋祭 — sasayama aki matsuri), which is officially called the Kasuga-jinja Religious Festival (春日神社の祭礼 — kasuga-jinja no sairei) and presumably has its origins as a harvest festival. The matsuri coincides closely with the […]


self matsuri

21Feb16

Last year, on September 22nd, I finally got around to visiting Osaka’s Self Matsuri (or ‘Self Festival’ — セルフ祭 in Japanese), a DIY street festival held in the Shinsekai neighborhood that I’ve wanted to attend ever since it was first organized several years ago. The festival primarily takes place in a branch of the Shinsekai […]


The 2014 Nipponbashi Street Festival (日本橋ストリートフェスタ) will be held in Osaka on March 21st.  I went to the 2013 Street Festival and had a blast, even though I did end up missing the parade itself (which is the main event) and instead spent my time on the backstreets taking portraits.  Most of the more elaborate […]


Tanabata

07Jul13

July 7th is Tanabata (七夕) in Japan.  Tanabata celebrates the annual meeting of the celestial lovers Orihime (the star Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair), who are only allowed to meet once a year.  Here’s their story, as told by that never-exhausted fount of knowledge, Wikipedia: Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, […]


The 2012 Aqua Metropolis Osaka Festival offered a series of delights, including a giant inflatable kokeshi doll produced by the artist collective Yotta Groove.  There’s something both benign and menacing about the cute blankness of the kokeshi doll when it’s magnified to kaiju proportions.  Yotta Groove wasn’t the only collective active at the Aqua Metropolis […]