This weeks travel theme is costumes and I immediately thought of the colourful costumes the dancers wore during the Japanese summer festivals. I lived in Higashi-Rinkan, a suburb of Tokyo, Japan for a while and was fortunate enough to be there for their summer festival. Matsuri is the Japanese word for a festival or holiday and draws millions of people each summer. Japan is the Land of gods and they are the reason cities and towns pulse with festival excitement.
The main road running through this district was closed off for the whole day. A procession of bands and dancers walked down this street all the way up to the small shrine at the end of the road. Each group had on different colourful costumes.
During summer evening I got to experience and enjoy Bon-Odori (dance) happening throughout the whole street. This tradition originated when the farmers thanked the Rice Paddock God for the good summer crop. The Dance movement is simple and repetitive but quite beautiful. I just don’t understand how the woman actually balance or dance on those wooden shoes they wear!