My Weekend Part IV: Aki Matsuri
I didn’t sleep much Sunday night, despite my residual exhaustion from Hiroshima. My town was in the middle of a 3-day autumn celebration which involved whistles, screaming, drinking, and general shenanigans. I lay in bed but forced to stay awake and listen to the town party. My friends train got in at around 1, Catherine donating a box of KD to my Canadian Thanksgiving feast as well as her takoyaki maker (to make delicious treats!) and Katie donating Pringles. After a quick stop to the grocery store for beers, we were on our way down to watch the festivities! We immediately were greeted by men in these strange patterned robe-type outfits carrying mikoshi’s around summoning the townsfolk to the river for the main event. Upon seeing us, several drunken men brought us over, made us climb the mikoshi (they are quite large – it takes about 16 men to carry one) and put their hilarious robes on us and took our picture. Then we were asked to ‘carry’ the mikoshi around town to partake in the summoning of the locals. We, thankfully, were not relied upon to carry any of the weight of these mikoshi’s, but rather just sort of pretend to, and parade around while locals took our photo. The main event involved throwing the mikoshi in the river (with men atop it) and then dragging it out only to throw it back in again (with different men this time). This went on for a while. There was a huge crowed there, perhaps everyone from my town, old and young alike. The men who were showing us around tried to get us to go in the river, but we managed to escape their grasp. It was a pretty hilarious day to say the least.
Cheering before the Mikoshi Goes into the River!
The mikoshi has been thrown in the river, and will be dragged out and thrown in again!
Fernn, Katie and I on the mikoshi!
When the main event of the festival was over we went back to my apartment and feasted on KD and Pringles and a bunch of other random foods. It wasn’t the usual turkey dinner, but I made everyone say what they were thankful for, and being with friends made me grateful.