Monday, July 27, 2009

more tanabata dancing

still more shiramine shrine, tanabata dances

Girls do a very slow circle dance with drums around the tanabata.

more shiramine shrine, tanabata dances

shiramine shrine, tanabata dances

Tanabata dances were held at Shiramine Shrine. Tanabata is a mid-summer festival, also known as the Star Festival. It's a celebration of thwarted love [in the vein of Romeo and Juliet]. "Wish Trees" are made from bamboo and paper wishes are tied to the tree.

shiramine shrine, kenmari games

Friday, July 17, 2009

shiramine shrine, kenmari games

Imagine a cross between 4 square and soccer played in heian period silken robes, and you come pretty close to kenmari, and ancient kick ball game, recreated for this festival at shiramine shrine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

japan toy museum

on the outskirts of himeji, tucked in between rice paddies, housed in six exquisite plaster kuras, is the wonderful japan toy museum. not only is it chock full of all kinds of beautiful and interesting examples of japanese toys dating back over one hundred years, it also has many hands on exhibits and a lovely garden. as you can see, i was smitten.

japan toy museum more showa era toys

japan toy museum: a few more showa era toys

japan toy museum folk toys

japan toy museum: plaster figurines

more japan toy museum vintage folk toys

japan toy museum: vintage regional folk toys including kokeshi dolls, daruma figures, paper fish and a plaster dog.