Atelier Naoko

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②Summer Festival of Sumiyoshi shrine

Hello, again. I am a editor of "NAOKO AU JAPON". Last time, I reported the digging the poles for the gateways for summer festival. Then, I finally inform you the state of the festival of Sumiyoshi shrine.

It was Sunday of August 2 when summer was at its peak under blazing sun. The district of Tsukuda was different from the ordinary atmosphere, quietness, so people and the street were filled with the enthusiasum which seemed to drive away from the heat of the sun. On the poles which had been digged after an interval of 3 years in my previous report, the flags were decoretad and they flapped magnificently. On the both sides of the street of Tsukuda which is usually lonesome on weekend, a lot of stalls were displayed and there were so many people. My husband and I couldn't put up with the heat as soon as we went out, so we bought the cup of beer and walked around over drinking. For lunch, we bought the fried noodle and Takoyaki at the stall stores and we ate them along the river to enjoy the atmosphere of the festival. It's happy to eat junkfood at stall store in festival, regardless of age.

Anyway, when it comes to the summer festival, it is Mikoshi, a portable shrine. Under the scorching sun and in the hot air, men and women who love the festival carried Mikoshi freshly. The previous date of this, I had met Mr. Sakuma, a writer of local free paper who had been during reporting the festival, and on that day, I saw him again incidentally. He taught me the difference of pattern of Happi, Japanese traditional outfit to wear in the summer festival. The people who wear plain black color Happi are ones who have lived there for many years and have supported the festival of Sumiyoshi shrine since some decades ago. The people who wear patterned Happi are ones who love summer festival or come from the different districts to help carring Mikoshi. In the people who carried the Mikoshi of Shin Tsukuda, there were few who wear plain black color Happi. In that area, a lot of condominums have been built every year, and the habitants who had moved from different areas enjoyed the summer festival in performing the mutual mission to protect 400 years of tradition, to follow the instruction of the elders. While I watched a lot of people's faces who carried Mikoshi, I wanted to participate in it to wear cool Happi. Members of each neighborhood association of the festival poured water on the persons who carried Mikoshi in order to let them cool down. The people who carried Mikoshi ran through powerfully in front of us, while they shouted and they were soaked with sweat and water. 

Originally, I had planned to wear Yukata at this event, since I learn how to wear Kimono once a week as a lesson. However, I gave up doing that, since it was extraordinarily hot. Finally, my fashion of that day was just like Tora-san, the character of Japanese old movie, having a towel around my neck. On that day, I drunk some cups of beer and ate the shaved ice, and at last I went to the cafe in Monja street to eat frozen yoghurt.  

See you soon for the next number.