October 25, 2005

Ton-Ten-Tons of Fun

Giving a Japanese woman a piggyback ride
We are old friends who just met.
As the the fireworks explode above the river
We watch together. Contentment.

Shiroi iyahon — white earphones. Used to refer to a person with an iPod. Usually, I am a Shiroi iyahon, riding the rails with my ipod to keep me company; but as I now have a car, and have not yet gotten a converter for it, I spent the long drive to Imari listening to the "dark" CD that Rachel gave me long ago. I like listening to that CD; it's like having a frank and honest conversation with her.
So I went to Imari to experience Ton-ten-ton, a festival I had heard about even before I came to Japan. The idea behind the festival is interesting, if somewhat obfuscated by time. The theory is, the farmers fight the fishermen, and whoever wins gets the better harvest luck. They fight by crashing two portable shrines together until one falls into the river. The first team to pull their shrine out wins.
Now, this is extremely dangerous. People get hurt and/or die every year, due to being crushed by these giant floats. Needless to say, I want to try!

Today, I have a random video link for you. It's a very weird and existential parody of the power rangers. It's somewhat brilliant, and also stars a member of Japanese pop band SMAP. I can't help but think Takeshi Miike had a hand in this one (just kidding).

Martial arts exhibition.

Beatle for sale. This sucker was huge (about 6 inches). Kids love 'em.

Gyros in Japan! You can bet I had two. So good.

Carrying a shrine.


The river where they end up.