Thursday, May 31, 2018

Takaishi Seaside Festival 2014


Hamadera Park, in southern Osaka is near the final stop of the street car that runs from Tennoji station.

The park is a long strip of land that runs along the sea. The park features a number of attractions including gardens, a youth hostel, a miniature train ride, go-karts, a BBQ area, playgrounds, a nearby rowing dock and a water park.

June is usually the rainy season, but in mid-June the park hosts the first big fireworks show of the season. the fireworks attract at huge crowd. Fireworks crowds always overwhelm public transportation but Hamadera Park is located near three train lines; JR Hanwa, Nankai and the street car (or the Hankai Line tram).

The fireworks are part of a larger event called the Takaishi Seaside Festival (Takaishi is a suburb of Osaka). The festival starts several hours before the fireworks and features yattai food stalls and entertainers. There are stage performances that include musical performers, mascots, prize games, celebrity appearances, martial arts demonstrations.

There following photo journal is from the Takaishi Seaside Festival from 6/15/2014.

Two-seat go-karts on a closed course at Hamadera park. The vehicles have a perimeter bumper and the course consists of narrow lanes enclosed in curbs but the curves and changes in elevation make the course fun. The price to ride is reasonable (about 500 yen?).

A mini-train that runs around the southern part of the park.
The inside of the train car certainly seems to have been designed for children.

During the festival you can see some street performers entertaining the crowds.
here is a  clown / balloon artist / stilt-walker.

Fireworks. A 2-second exposure.

Fireworks. 3-second exposure.

3-second exposure of fireworks

Rowers on the bay next to the park. The island across the water from the park is an island that has numerous oil refineries.

A karate demonstration.

A pretty MC interviewing the karate kids.
I like the facial expression of the girl posed behind the boy being interviewed.

Traditional dance performers on stage.

A demonstration of Iaido.

These university students spiced up their iaido demonstration with masks and music.

Fox masks are common festival fare.

A karate demonstration.

A sparring match with protective equipment.

The park has some impressive playground equipment.

Tennyon, the mascot for Takaishi City.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ethnology Museum Music Fair


The National Ethnology Museum ( or "Minpaku") is a part of the Expo '70 Park (or Bampakku). The museum features a number of cultural artifacts from around the globe. There are sometimes special exhibits which rotate through the museum but the permanent exhibits are well worth seeing.

Every year, the Ethnology Museum has a special event in which groups present different ethnic performances.

The following is a photo journal from 06/23/2014.

Hula dancers. The bamboo poles were used to beat out a rhythm on the floor.

A Bolovian dance group with interesting costumes.

Bolivian dance group member in an unusual costume, presenting information about the group.
This masked Bolivian dance performer would fit in well at Mardi Gras.

The colorful costumes with the Bowler-style hats that are popular in South America.

Hula dancers.

Playing the Pan-pipes.

A group of musicians representing Japan with shamisen, taiko drums and a flute (possibly a ryuteki?).

Awa-odori dancers performing a kasa-odori (umbrella dance).

Awa-odori dancers.

Awa-odori dancers.

Hula dancers.

Hula dancers.

A traditional African dance by a mixed group including Ugandans.

African dance.

A performer representing south-east Asian music (Hong Kong?)


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Yuzuru Hanyu prayer plates

Yuzuru Hanyu Ema at Hattori Tenjin

Yuzuru Hanyu is one of the world's most famous figure skaters. He is Japanese but he lives in Canada to focus on his training. He has won many major championships and he won gold medals in two Winter Olympics; 2018 and 2014. During the 2018 Olympics it was revealed that Hanyu was still recovering from an ankle injury and was performing while in pain.
In Japan, Hanyu was very much the star of the 2018 Winter Olympics, earning the most Twitter mentions.
He arrived in Korea in on February 11th and gave gold medal performances on February 16th. On the 18th it was announced that he had been on pain relievers during the performance due to an injury from November.
On March 7th it was announced that Hanyu was withdrawing from the World Figure Skating Championships. While recovering and enjoying media attention after the Olympics, Hanyu was featured in performance which collected other notable ice skaters who performed for him.

Clearly, Hanyu had the most famous foot injury in the world at the time. In Kansai there is a shrine that is dedicated to foot injuries. This shrine became a hub for prayers directed at Japan's star athlete.

Hattori Tenjin shrine, in northern Osaka features special ema, a collection of donated footwear, and a ceremonial throne where visitors can rest their feet at ease on an array of therapeutic stones.

Below is a collection of photos from Hattori Tenjin Shrine collected in mid-May.

Fans dedicating a lot of effort to decorate an ema with cute flourishes and a photo of Hanyu.

Wishing Hanyu a speedy recoving and thanking him for earning an Olympic gold medal.

More ema plates wishing Hanyu a speedy recovery.
Note that the ema is shaped like a sandal, usually the prayers on written on the back side while the front side has pre-made designs on the front.

The gallery is covered with ema. Many of these are dedicated to Hanyu.

Hoping for Hanyu to recovery from his injury one day soon.

Old shoes, slippers sandals and strings of paper crane chains.

Note the front of the ema plates with various designs.
Note the two designs which have sandal designs.
Also note the cow plate in the lower corner; the cow is generally emblematic of Tenjin shrines.

Various sandal charms on the wall of the shrine.


Just The Way You Are (JP v. EN)

Just The Way You Are (English & Japanese versions)

Just the Way You Are - by Bruno Mars

Oh, her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they're not shining. 
Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying  
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day
Yeah, I know, I know, when I compliment her she won't believe me 
And it's so, it's so, sad to think that she don't see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look okay, I say 
When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change 
Cause you're amazing, just the way you are 
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while 
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are. Yeah.
Her lips, her lips, I could kiss them all day if she let me 
Her laugh, her laugh, she hates but I think it's so sexy 
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day
Oh, you know, you know, you know, I'd never ask you to change  
If perfect's what you're searching for then just stay the same 
So, don't even bother asking if you look ok 
You know I'll say
When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change 
Cause you're amazing, just the way you are 
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while 
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are 
The way you are, the way you are 
Girl you're amazing, just the way you are
When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change 
Cause you're amazing, just the way you are 
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while 
Cause girl you're amazing, just the way you are. Yeah.

Just the Way You Are - by Exile Atsushi

When I see your face
Just the way you are
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Ah, ah, ah
Oh, 君のその瞳に 一瞬で吸い込まれた
君のその髪は 眩しいほど輝いていて
She’s so beautiful 今すぐ伝えたい
Yeah, I know, I know 君はそんなことないって
目を逸らして 本当は嬉しそうなんだ
だから僕は 何度でも伝えるよ
When I see your face
Just the way you are
And when you smile
Just the way you are, yeah
君の唇は 魔法にかかったように
今すぐ奪ってしまいたくなる so sexy
She’s so beautiful 今すぐ伝えたい
Oh, 晴れた日は ふたり手をつないで
どこかに出かけよう 君となら
So, どこにいても 最高の時間
You know I’ll say
When I see your face (face)
Just the way you are
And when you smile
Just the way you are
The way you are
The way you are
Girl, you’re amazing
Just the way you are
When I see your face
Just the way you are
And when you smile
Just the way you are, yeah

Manbu Oneri 2018


Manbu Oneri

Manbue Oneri is an annual event held at Dainenbutsu-ji Temple in Osaka each year in May during the Golden Week holidays. The event lasts for several days. Each day there is procession around the outside of the main temple hall for which a special scaffolding path is temporarily erected each year. The procession features 25 bosatsu (Buddhist saints, or bodhisatva) represented by people wearing ornate golden masks.

The following is the photo journal from 5/3/2018:

A good look at the makeup on the girls' faces.
Small kids lead the procession wearing golden crowns.

A parade of supporters ringing bells.
Note the imperial Kiku-mon crests on the banners.
Each lady has a Dainenbutsu-ji Temple crest on their obi (sash belt).

Temple crest on a doorway banner.

Temple crest on an oni-gawara roof-tile cap.

Metal temple emblem on a rain gutter drain.

Bronze lantern with a kaen-houju on top.
Note the "5-7-5 kiri-mon" paulownia crests.
These crests hint at the history in which Hideyoshi Toyotomi and the Toyotomi clan are connected to the temple. T
he crests can be seen in several places around the temple.

A parade of monks.

Paper confetti is scattered as he bangs the pole against the ground.

The first bosatsu - kanzen-on bosatsu

4th, Yakushou bosatsu

6th, Konzou bosatsu

7th, Shishiku bosatsu

Another angle of the 7th (Shishiku bosatsu)

8th, Kegon ou bosatsu  

9th, Kokuuzou bosatsu

10th, tokuzou bosatsu

11th, Houzou bosatsu

12th, Houjizai bosatsu

14th, Sankaie bosatsu

13th, Kongouzou bosatsu

15th, Koumyou ou bosatsu

16th, Darani bosatsu

19th, Gakkou ou bosatsu

20th, Joujizai ou bosatsu

21st, Zanmai ou bosatsu

22nd, Daijizai ou bosatsu

23rd, Hakuzou ou bosatsu

24th, Daiitoku ou bosatsu

25th, Mihenshin bosatsu

Monks carrying various temple relics on parade.

Floral arrangements for the temple altar.

The main gate to the temple with special banners announcing the event.
Note the Dainenbutsu-ji emblems on the chochin lanterns.