Showing posts from September, 2012

Menkake Gyoretsu - Japanese Mask Festival in Kamakura

On September 18th in Kamakura at the little Goryo Shrine a small but unique festival is held where the participants wear masks which are over 200 years old. The festival is known as Menkake Gyoretsu or Masked Procession. The festival is of uncertain origins but what is certain is that the shrine itself goes back to the late 11th Century. The enshrined kami is that of a famous warrior of the early samurai era - Kamakura Kagemasa popularly known as Gongoro. In fact the locals usually refer to Goryo Shrine as Gongoro Shrine. 

Gongoro was born in Kamakura hence his name and at a young age went to Tohoku to fight for his patron clan, the Minamoto. In one battle Gongoro was struck in the eye with an arrow and he supposedly killed the enemy who sent the offending arrow. Later, a comrade in trying to remove the arrow place a foot upon Gongoro's head which nearly got the fellow killed when Gongoro tried to stab him. Gongoro felt placing a foot upon a samurai's head was a grievous insult…

A few Tokyo Game Show girls

I caught the last part of the Tokyo Game Show at Makuhari Messe the other weekend. I missed the cosplayers which is upsetting because I heard that Luigi was hot - he/she was a girl. I got a few shots though of some of the cute girls working the booths at the expo that people may enjoy seeing.

Sexy Cosplayer Cops are arresting
Your ubiquitous maid at your service 

 A different breed of .... nevermind

Drunk Japanese Guy in Boxers Falls in Fountain

At a beer festival in Tokyo, I saw this drunk Japanese guy in his underwear finishing off a beer while standing in the middle of a fountain. I guess he waded over there at first but when he tried to wade back he fell completely into the water. Gotta love drunk people!

Japanese Monks Cutting Bamboo Festival - Takekiri-eshiki

On June 20th, on Mt Kuruma north of Kyoto an interesting ritual is held where Japanese Buddhist monks hack at thick bamboo stalks in order to drive out evil and ensure good harvests. The ritual is known as Takekiri-eshiki and goes back over a thousand years.
The origin of the ritual is said to come from an encounter a monk had with two huge snakes in the 9th Century. The snakes were male and female and they no doubt saw the monk as a meal. The monk, however, was able to kill the male snake with a well-aimed prayer. The female snake pleaded for mercy and promised to guard the waters of the mountain.
In the Takakiri-eshiki ritual, bamboo stalks representing the male snake are cut by sword-wielding monks. There are two teams representing the ancient provinces of Omi and Tamba. It's believed that whichever team cuts the quicker their represented area will have the better harvest.

The monks are dressed as Sohei who were fighting priests of Old Japan

Bugaku is an ancient dance which is perf…