Friday, November 4, 2011

Yabusame (流鏑馬) in Kasama

Yesterday was a national holiday "Culture Day", and it is a day when cultural events are held nationwide. I like this day as it is usually warm and it's when we can see beautiful yellow leaves on trees. So it's the best timing to take part in an even that is related to something cultural. I had seen an article in a local newspaper that "Yabusame" was going to be held in Kasama, so I went there yesterday.

We could see many events taking place in Kasama, and many of them concentrated in areas near this shrine. The name of this shrine was "Kasama Inari Jinja". "Jinja" means "shrine".

And one of those events was a contest for how much you could make your chrysanthemum pretty. You can see the flowers in various colors lining up the street. This is the main street of the shrine.  

 It was around noon, so we had lunch here. This restaurant was very crowded, and that made us think the taste must be very good.

I ordered this Inari soba. "Inari" means this fried bean curd, and another meaning is a god that safeguards your harvest. There is often a statue of fox in the premises of an Inari shirine. 

 Of course there were many stalls too that can be usually seen in an event like this. She was selling brown sugar steamed bread.

As I said before I came here for the purpose of seeing "Yabusame", but as it was going to be held at around 2:30, there was one hour left. So we decided to kill some time by having coffee here.

Kasama is known as where they produce good porcelain. You can see the iced coffee in the porcelain. The tastes of it and the apple pie were really good. It wasn't like "killing" time at all.

 Now, it was the time for the show to begin. The purpose of this time's "Yabusame" was to thank God for this year's harvest. As I waited on the street, horses and jockeys came one after another and I found myself getting excited.

What do you think of these traditional Japanese outfits? Do they seem really different from the ones of your country?

I shot a video of the Yabusame to let you see what it is like. Enjoy!