Oct 17, 2018
Like most people, I enjoy a good Japanese festival. What’s not to love? Jovial atmosphere, good food, beautiful costumes, catchy tunes, camaraderie—it’s great, right?
Well, that’s what I thought until my wife and I traveled to Nagasaki during the Nagasaki Kunchi festival. This is a three-day affair that ran from Sunday until Tuesday. I figured, “Okay, they’ll start Sunday afternoon or evening and have a few things on each day.”
Boy, was I wrong.
At 4:30 in the morning we were awoken by the sound of drums, flutes, and shouts. We looked at each other in disbelief. Who the heck decides that practicing at 4:30 in the morning is a good idea?
Well, since I was up, I strolled over to the closest conbini to grab us some coffee and a bite to eat, and when I left the hotel, I heard the drums, flutes, and shouts again. I decided to go see what the folks were practicing.
Only they weren’t practicing...
...they were full on marching in the parade. Everyone was either in an elaborate costume or formal attire, and the procession was marching all through the streets.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The only people I’m used to seeing on the streets that early are folks getting done with yo-jikai (after-after-after parties) and waiting until the trains start running again. Incredible.
In one way, I admire the dedication in getting up so early for a formal festival procession. In another way though, I say, C’mon Japan, you couldn’t wait just a few more hours???
Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.
Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).