With the coming of autumn, fall festivals are celebrated in many neighborhoods across Japan. This year it seemed that the danjiri brought the cool autumn weather with it as it was pushed and pulled through the narrow roadways of my neighborhood - there was a noticeable change in temperature after the festival was completed on Sunday evening.
As I have been observing and participating with my neighborhood's festival for several years now (see previous VAOJ coverage through the links below) it has been interesting seeing children grow and older people's hair getting grayer. The unfortunate observation is lesser participation in the festival. It seems most of my neighbors are too busy and/or uninterested in this event. It makes me admire even more the extraordinary efforts of those who come out year after year. They start out preparing the danjiri Saturday morning and after a blessing by the local shrine's Shinto priest they parade the danjiri around the neighborhood receiving donations from residents along the way. After a grueling afternoon of hauling the danjiri around the same people organize and run an evening festival at the shrine, preparing various food, holding games for children and hosting groups from other neighborhoods. After cleaning up after the festival they get up early on Sunday morning and haul the danjiri around once again. After cleaning the danjiri they put it away for next year and then hold a thank you party for the participants in the shrine grounds. It is a full 2 days of work carried out by 40 people or so for the benefit of the whole neighborhood. I worry about the future of this event as the core members and most participants are well into their 50s and 60s. I am honored to be allowed to record and participate in the festival (my assistance in pushing the danjiri seems to be valued than my photography...).
Previous VAOJ Fall Festival Photo Essays:
2014 Fall Festival: http://visualanthropologyofjapan.blogspot.jp/2014/11/2014-fall-festival.html
2013 Fall Festival: http://visualanthropologyofjapan.blogspot.jp/2013/11/2013-fall-festival.html
2012 Fall Festival: http://visualanthropologyofjapan.blogspot.jp/2012/10/2012-fall-festival.html
2010 Local Matsuri in Classic Black & White: http://visualanthropologyofjapan.blogspot.jp/2010/11/local-matsuri-in-classic-black-white.html
2010 Local Matsuri In Living Color: http://visualanthropologyofjapan.blogspot.jp/2010/11/local-matsuri-in-living-color.html