Japanese drama, played outside in the middle of summer season. (Nou play / 能, Matsumoto castle / 松本城) vol.1

As its getting busy, I couldn't get time for writing blogs in this few weeks.
I've got stocks of pictures, so I will introduce them when I found time.

Today, I will upload some pictures of "Nou" which played at the square in front of  Matsumoto castle.

This act was held at beginning of August.
It started about 17:30, when the sunset was starting.

To be exact, the Nou play this day was called "Takigi-Nou".
Takigi means wood fire. When the night came, the fire will put on the woods, and acts will proceed in their lights.

Before the act starts, the priest prays gods and tell that the acts starting is present for them.

The first act's title is "Maki-Ginu, Kagura-dome".
"Maki-Ginu" means "Silk cloth" and "Kagura" means music and dances for god.
I couldn't know the exact meaning for "dome", but I think it means like "stop" or "keep something not to move".

The story starts from an emperor saw a dream that a god tells him to bring high quality clothes to the shrine. In the morning, the emperor told servants to prepare the silk clothes.

An Imperial messenger had to come back as soon as possible, but he enticed to smell of Japanese plum and stopped at other shrine and wrote a poem there.

When he arrived to the emperor, he was mad for messenger's late coming.

The messenger was tied and arrested.

When he got arrested, a priestess came.
The priestess was possessed by a fairy from the shrine which had apricot.

She begged the emperor to let the messenger free, telling she is also a god and messenger was praying to her.

 The emperor didn't believe her words at first, but when the messenger and priestess read same poem, the emperor believed them and forgave messenger.

To express appreciation, priestess started to dance.

When the end comes near, the dance become faster.

Suddenly, the dance ends, and priestess become back to human, and story ends.

The fairy was so beautiful in the sunset at last.
I wish that you can feel her beauty just a little from my pictures.

Thanks for reading!!
I will introduce other act next time.

Good night!

松本城, 薪能, 夏, 8月


Festival which all people in the town have fun (Matsumoto Bon Bon / 松本ぼんぼん)

In the summer time, there are lot's of festivals take place everywhere in Japan.
People wears Yukata, the clothes resembles Kimono, and walks around the town.

With music of Japanese drums and flute, we dance Bon dance.
Differ from Yukata and Kimono, we wear clothes called Happi when we Bon dance and carry miniature shrine.

Matsumoto Bon Bon is the festival which started in year 1975.
Groups in 30 to 200 people dances and marches the town.

This festival is set on first Saturday of August every year, starts 6 at night.
I went out to the town to see the dance. (Not participate dancing!! Just see them.)

Mother and daughter waiting festival start.

It's good idea to get beers and snacks like Yakitori before the festival starts.

The announcement from speaker told that the festival had started.

To participate Matsumoto Bon Bon, the leader must gather 30 people.
That is the reason most of groups are from company and schools.

The people in green Happi were the group from company Nakanihon Medical Link.


Roland, the music instrument maker.

EPSON, the printer maker.

Alpico group, the bus and taxi company in Matsumoto.

Parents and children groups.

JR groups, the most largest train company in Japan.

The festival continues until 10 in the night.

The cloud was so huge, and I know we are just in the middle of summer now.

It's fun to stop at restaurant before going back home.

Thank you for reading!
See you!

松本ぼんぼん, はっぴ, 法被, 浴衣, 祭


Masterpiece from 130 years ago. (Saifukuji-temple / 西福寺, Uonuma city / 魚沼, Niigata prefecture) No.2

At the entrance of main building, you will see a carved figure.
His face, hands, and legs are crow, body is human.
In own back, he also had strong wings

In Japan, he is called "Tengu".
Tengu is thought as one of Gods in Japan.

In this chance I searched a little about Tengu, and knew one thing.

What I knew was that Tengu were human before his reincarnation.
Ascetic monks become Tengu after they have finished their training and died.

As the monks earns more power in their training, they become stronger Tengu when they reincarnated.

I realized that cloth he is wearing is monk's.

Chouun's work was so great and brilliant that the Tengu seems came out of the wood and fly away.

After I plactice more and more taking pictures, and become better, I would like to visit here and take his pictures again.

Inside of the temple, there were some paintings.
Chouun was also great drawer.




Flying Goddess

On the floor, Chouun's playful mind can be seen.

He used wood's knot and used to make a picture.
Leaves on the floor.

I also found flower in the flower.

I think there are lot's of discovery in this temple.
Not only taking a picture of Tengu, to find new hidden things, I would like to visit this temple again.

Thank you for reading!!
Have a nice weekend!

石川蝶雲, 西福寺, 開山堂, 魚沼, 新潟, 天狗