Yokosuka Mikoshi Parade October 18, 2009 (repost from old blog October 25, 2009)

Last Sunday was the Yokosuka City Mikoshi parade. The Mikoshi 神輿 is a Japanese portable shrineIt is paraded out in the streets twice a year, to give the gods pleasure and a chance for the people to give them thanks. It is sort of a holy joy ride.

Mikoshi parade is a pants-free event!

Mikoshi

U.S. Navy's Mikoshi

Mikoshi  Not a Mikoshi, but still cool

The event happens every spring and autumn all around Japan.  The spring festival is to pray to the local gods for a good harvest in the coming months, while the autumn festival is to give thanks to the gods for the year’s harvest.

Adorned atop all of the Mikoshis is a phoenix to act as a messenger to the goddess inside.

Phoenix

Phoenix 2

Each area in Japan has its own Mikoshi. The Mikoshi is traditionally carried by the young men in the local area. But recently women are allowed to carry them. And if no young men are available in the town, ringers from outside can be asked to help for a payment of food and sake. Sounds like when I helped my friend move into their apartment for a pizza. “Hey dude. Can you help my move my shrine, I’ll like, totally get you a cheese ‘za. Dude.”

Granny isn't all that into it.

Step it up Grandma!

The Village People and the shrine of sexy.

This one is for the ladies!

Feeling it!

Hayashi 囃子is the folk music that is played during this parade. Many of the sounds for the performers came from taiko drums, fude, traditional vocalizations, and just banging things on other thing rhythmically.

Taiko

Taiko

Fute. Woodwinds kick ass!

Keepin' the beat  This purple hair'ed guy can whaile!

All along Blue Street venders were set up cooking parade food along with games set up for the children. The varieties of food included takoyaki, yakisoba, obanyaki, frankfurters, grilled corn, yakitori, pineapple on a sick, cotton candy, candy apples, and chocolate bananas.

Yokosuka's special negi tako

Takoyaki come in a ball format.

Fruit on a stick. That makes it better!

Meat stick!

Okonomiyaki

Yakitori = meat on a stick.

Ok, this is the only way to eat fruit, on a stick and covered in chocolate.

Candy Fluff.

A children's card game

Overall if you are visiting Japan and are lucky enough to present during the semiannual Mikoshi parade, check it out, it is one of the many things unique about Japan.

Shishimai

Kosho  Kosho 2

Doraimon  I don't think his shirt says "I'm with stupid"

Drunk Mask  Crazy eye o_0

Okuninushimikoto 

The coolist old guy ever!

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