Tokyo Diary: 11/4/12 – Festival Day

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Not so many words but a lot of pictures from a very busy Saturday.

Lots of stuff happening in Tokyo this weekend, in addition to my quest to find an apartment.  Jidai Matsuri was held in Asakusa, and there were numerous events celebrating Meiji’s birthday at Meiji-Jingu Shrine.  Several videos of the events are included as well.

This is from Meiji Shrine, traditional mochi-pounding:

Lion Dance:

Mikoshi from Jidai Matsuri:

There’s something sort of surreal about seeing these salarymen and little kids (Japan has some of the cutest kids in the universe) in traditional garb performaing Shinto rites that have roots thousands of years in the past with the modern backdrop of Asakusa behind them – the Meiji Shrine, at least, is set off in the woods.  Japan has always seemed to me a curious mix of ancient and modern, and a society that treasures it’s past yet also sometimes treats it with a shockingly cavalier attitude (I can’t tell you how many lovely pre-war wooden buildings I’ve seen in the process of being demolished) and nowhere is that more true than in Tokyo.

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  1. B

    you need to do some selfies! 🙂

  2. How do you know I haven't? 😉

  3. e

    Seems you were luckier this time weather-wise.
    Your last movie and related pic with the bird (heron?) headpiece and simulated feathers especially intrigues me. I thought of hagoromo for a moment.
    'Japan has some of the cutest kids in the universe' awww.
    About the cavalier attitude bit… at least for cities I remember reading a couple of interesting speculations 1) heritage and mindset of wooden buildings, that had a limited life-span. Restoration or rebuilding from scratch was a given 2) due to the function of cities being a market/business/meeting place. The 'city buildings' in this sense are expendable compared to buildings like temples, these are periodically restored/rebuilt keeping the ancient original appereance.

  4. e

    Another possible reason, tying into (underlying even?) the previous: the concept of impermanence and of reality as flux and fluid appereance.

  5. L

    mono no aware?

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