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Shiogama Flower Festival

April 27, 2010

Went to the Hana Matsuri this weekend at Shiogama Jinja.  In addition to eating plenty of festival-stand food, I watched the omikoshi get carried down the 100+ steps from the shrine and then around the city’s downtown area.  It takes a gang of about 30 men (16 to hold, and another 16 or so to switch out or assist at times) to carry this sucker around… if I understand correctly, it weighs somewhere around a ton.

An old man fell over backward and hit his head on the ground during the ceremony, so here are some cops examining the situation.  One of these guys was really severe to me when I had my car accident (it happened basically across the street).  An ambulance came and took the poor guy away (they kept paging for his wife or daughter over the loudspeakers, but she never showed), and the ceremony continued.

There were a lot of kids participating in the ceremony.  I love how kids always show their boredom.  This guy had been carrying around this salt for way too long, I’m sure.  (Salt is used often for luck.)  And the next image is of a stage-ritual where the masked guy mimes a story and then pours sake for worshippers at the shrine… the happy demon inside all of us.

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