Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chinese Culture and Autumn Moon Viewing

Mid-Autumn Chinese Cultural Festival in Japan

The mid-autumn festival is a major celebration in China which traditional celebrates the harvest and the beauty of the harvest moon. This festival overlaps nicely with the Japanese traditions that are observed in parallel during the Otsukimi, the harvest moon viewing.

There are numerous festival around Kansai that have Otsukimi festival:
10/4. 5p. Uneme. Sarusawa pond boat event and parade. Near Nara station.
10/4. 6:30.-8:30p. Moon viewing ceremonies including traditional dances by maiko.
10/4. 4p-8:30p. Sumiyoshi Otsukimi Moon viewing performances of traditional music and dances on Taiko Bashi bridge.
10/4~6. Moon viewing on the pond at Daikakuji Temple in Kyoto, north of Arashiyama station.
10/4. Gion moon viewing at Yasaka shrine in Kyoto near Gion Shijo station.
10/4. Shimogamo shrine moon viewing. Near Demachiyanagi station in Kyoto.
10/4. Himeji moon viewing
10/4-5. Ishiyamadera Temple moon viewing festival. Near Ishiyamadera Temple.
10/7-8. 10a-6p. 中秋明月祭. Chinese Fall Moon Festival. Near Osaka Castle, Tanimachi 4 chome station, at the Naniwa Palace Site. Traditional Chinese performing arts, acrobatics, lion/dragon dances, and Japanese performing arts including Takaruka. There will be many food vendors there.
10/4, 10/7-9. Nankin Machi Fall Festival. The ChinaTown area of Kobe, near Sannomiya, will have traditional Chinese performances.
Among the celebrations in Japan there a few festivals that celebrate the cultural connections between China and Japan. This year, Osaka celebrated the 45th annual observation of Chinese-Japanese friendship with a festival on the Naniwa Palace site. The location is significant due to the historical ties that were observed on this site when Naniwa was the capital of Japan and received diplomatic envoys from Asia, including China and Korea; this aspect is also created at the annual Shitennoji Wasso festival.

This year the festival included dozens of food stalls from local Chinese cuisine providers.
The stage show included a fashion show, traditional Chinese dances, a string orchestra using traditional Chinese instruments, group taichi demonstrations.
Kids on the runway
Fashion show for mothers and kids
These two look like Dragon Ball Z characters.
I like this derpy dragon with the building eyes.
Nice pose against the moon themed backdrop.
Dancing and music on stage.
A very serious male dancer among a group of female amateurs.
This long haired dancer took the stage alone.
Dance routines are good for catching poses in motion.
A string orchestra performs Chinese music.
Another dancer striking a pose.
A lot of red outfits at the Chinese festivals.
Taichi with fans.
A taichi group takes the stage in matching outfits.
Taichi using a one handed jian sword.
The concept behind taichi is to create continuous flowing motion.
Older ladies with swords.
Kobe also has a mid-autumn Chinese culture festival in Nankin Machi; the ChinaTown area of Kobe. Nankin actually has many Chinese culture festivals spread out over the year.
The Nankin festival is staged in the open courtyard of the ChinaTown district. The neighborhood association arranges for entertainment from martial artists, taichi practitioners, drummers, dancers, musicians, lion dancers and dragon dancers. Whereas Naniwa sets up temporary food stalls, the ChinaTown in Kobe is a permanent center for Chinese food and merchandise.

Kobe's ChinaTown
An interesting type of Chinese xylophone.