July 23rd, 2007

Photography: Sakura

(no subject)

Last night, I went to a community "Bon Odori", which means a kind of dance you do to celebrate the festival of Obon. You've almost certainly seen in anime.

The dance took place in a small park near our house. Everyone was dressed up in yukata, which reminds me that I really have to go and buy one at Uniqlo. In the centre was a tower, the design of which was straight of the Edo era. Around it were glowing pink, green and blue lanterns which gave the area a ghostly glow. At the top were musicians.

A Japanese guy approached me and I asked if he could teach me the dance. He said he didn't understand how to do it, but you join the circle at a point in the corner and just copy everyone else. I asked if that was really okay and he said it was fine.

At that point, there was a time-out while the children were given sweets and I started talking to this Australian-British guy that was also there, who also encouraged me to join in once the sweets were handed out.

And so I did! There were some lovely, middle-aged ladies there who were only too pleased to help me get the right positions in the dances (although it required a bit of manhandling since I lack coordination and rhythm!). Gradually you move around the circle and, after a while, the moves repeat. It sounds simple, but I loved every minute of it. Without a doubt, this was the most incredible and amazing experience I've had since arriving in Japan. Do read the Wikipedia article I linked to because it explains it better than I ever could.

(Went out drinking afterwards. Ate basashi on the insistence of my very drunk new friend (the Australian-British guy). I didn't like it much at all. It tasted like ice cold, raw corned beef. I wonder if my parents could be persuaded to try it?)

From gekipuri:
Third gen cast graduation.

From Moonphase:
Suteki Tantei Labyrinth is getting animated. Written by Manjou Meito-sensei and illustrated by Wakayama Seiji-sensei. It looks very pretty.
BAMBOO BLADE will also be animated.

Another Koyasu Takehito-sama blog translation!

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