Sunday, August 10, 2008

Niigata Matsuri-Day 2

Niigata Matsuri-Day 2.

I went to experience the cultural event, Shimin-Mikoshi at Furumachi. Briefly, mikoshi is a portable shinto shrine and used as a transport to move Japanese gods.

This mysterious group of girls were preceeding the mikoshis. They walked slowly in a zig zag pattern following the rythm made by the chimes of their staffs.

Then came the mikoshi. The mikoshi was carried by many people on their shoulders. They moved slowly, pushing the mikoshi up and down while crying 'wasshoi washhoi'.

They were many different kinds of mikoshi. This one really resembled shinto shrine with phoenix on top.

Somebody would stand on top front of mikoshi probably for giving moral support

The young lady seemed happy while the carriers were in pain. Check the guy on the bottom left.

The heat from the summer sun and the weight of the mikoshi really affected it carriers

Some of them were like in the verge of unconsciousness. Later, I found out some of them drank beers during break time, maybe that why.

Several mikoshis in a row. It was like a riot. Totally awesome. I wanted to sneak into the crowd but it was impossible. See the policeman?

On the way home, I came across this group of kids playing Taiko. They were incredibly superb.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Niigata Matsuri-Day 1

Festivals are everywhere throughout Japan during summer. In Niigata, we have the Niigata Festival every year in August. This big event is celebrated in 3 consecutive days.

The festival started yesterday with the dai-minyou-nagashi, in direct translation, the great folk song flow. Basically, what they do is dance along with the traditional Japanese folk songs. People from around Niigata representing their companies, colleges, clubs participated and danced along 1.2 km from furumachi up to Niigata main station.

The map for the Dai-Minyou-Nagashi event.

Every group participated with their on identity.

This group incorporated light on their fans and necklaces

All song were performed live

After several songs they had for about 10-15 minutes rest

They started to dance again after short break

Bandai bridge

Different group of singers

The traditional guitar called Shamisen

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Trip to Niigata Agricultural Research Institute

My lab went for a trip to the Niigata Agricultural Research Institute/Crop Research Center over at Nagaoka. The trip was for sampling paddies.

We gathered at 7 o'clock in the morning. Everybody looked really excited, though very sleepy.

The journey only took approximately 1 hour

Upon arrival, we had a warm welcome by Mr. Ishizaki, a senior researcher at the station (The one with hat)

I laughed when Mr. Ishizaki bluffed Yanagida, the girl on the left , that the depth of the paddy field was until his chest. Though I'm not fammiliar with paddy, I'm surely wouldn't believe that (LOL).

Mori at his best

Mr. Ishizaki thought us about paddy flowers. Because paddy is a self-compatible plant, one need to kill their pollens by deeping the flower into 48C water prior to hand pollination. Self-compatible plants are plants that can reproduce themselves by using their own pollens.

One of the plots at the research center. Reminded me the paddy fields around Penampang highway.

My lab junior was busy with the nature

Lab members were amazed by bugs that floated on the water

Nice trip, should do more!