Archive for the ‘matsuri’ 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 […]


I’ve been to see the Yodogawa Hanabi fireworks festival several times.  It’s glorious and amazing and definitely the singular largest annual display of fireworks that I’ve ever seen.  They launch something like 20,000 fireworks at Yodogawa Hanabi and hundreds of thousands of people come to watch.  It may not be as large as Osaka’s famous […]


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 […]