Monday, June 2, 2008

day 156 - Yatai Matsuri

Yesterday Himeji hosted a Festival of Yatai, or mikoshi, those amazing portable shrines which are constructed and guarded zealously by the people of their home villages. This year the districts of Yamata and Arakawa were invited to display their yatai. These shrines are the culmination of work by mastercraftsmen of successive generations over hundreds of years. Carpenters, woodcarvers, embroiderers, lacquerware experts and gold- and silver-smiths collaborate to produce these works of art which also tell stories of the area's mythology (like Kintaro.)
There was also a little pushing-and-shoving (what's Japanese for 'argy-bargy'?), perhaps round 1 for the nada event in Shirohama in October...

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