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  Experience traditional Japanese culture

with the Saitama Kawagoe Festival!(Part1)

                                                                                                                                                                           Mar.2019

 

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Hello everyone!

My name is HSU WEI, a junior at Saitama University and a LOVESAITAMA ambassador in Saitama Prefecture!

Today I would like to introduce how to prepare for the Kawagoe Festival Float Event in Saitama Prefecture with everyone!

This time I will be talking about Otemachi’s Uzume festival float!

 

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The Uzume festival float car was made 147 years ago in 1872 by the master craftsman NakaShuei!

Since then,craftsmen reassemble it by hand and take it out on the day of the festival.

 

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This is how the float looked when I first saw it!

According to the craftsmen,it took a whole day to get it to this point!

Sure is a tough task!

This Edo style festival cart has an elevator structure so it can move up and down!

They will start decorating the it today!

 

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These parts are attached to the float one by one!

The lacquerware is carefully preserved for this once a year festival and are shining like they are brand new.

 

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There are valuable sculptures inside! The delicate gold sculptures were donated and look just like fine art pieces.

 

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Craftsmen assembling the float

 

I saw the craftsmen assembling this and once again I was impressed with how amazing woodworking technology is in Japan!

The parts that connect at the corner have a special shape and since each piece fits perfectly, it can be assembled without glue. Speaking of which,it seems that wooden buildings all over Japan are built in the same way.

However, according to my high school teacher, my ancestors were the ones who invented this woodworking technique.

In ancient China, everything from ordinary houses to the emperor’s palace was built using this “fitting”woodworking technique. Unfortunately, we no longer use this technique in our daily lives. Instead, the Japanese people succeeded and developed this technology, which is now used all over Japan.

 

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The float car with the lacquerware and sculptures attached

 

The decorated float car looks like the horse carriage on which government officials ride on in Chinese historical dramas!

This made me think that perhaps there were also these kinds of festivals in ancient China!

 

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he float car decorated with cloth

 

We are gradually approaching the finished form!

The car looks more Japanese after the cloth decorations are put on!

 

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 The God that will be put on the float (Uzume)

 

These dolls were also made at the same time as the festivals floats in 1872 by NakaShuei.

Ame no Uzume no Mikoto is said to be the oldest dancer in Japan and is considered to be the god of performing arts! According to legend, Ame no Uzume no Mikoto was invited to Amanoiwato Cave to entice Amaterasu Oomikami (Sun Goddess) out of the cave by dancing, which brought light back into the world of darkness!

 

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Since the gods cannot make contact with the ground,

the craftsmen have to carry the gods to where the floats are!

 

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The lanterns are put on the float car with a crane

 

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The craftsmen are tying the ropes that will pull the floats!

It seems easy at first glance,

but there are only some people who are able to do this, even among craftsmen!

 

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Finished version of the float

 

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In addition, this festival float car was designated as a cultural asset of Saitama Prefecture!

 

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The back of the finished float

 

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Everyone pushing the float to the standby area

 

【Lunch: Koedo Ohana】

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Lastly, I will introduce the lunch I ate that day. Koedo Ohana is an oyakodon shop!

This popular shop has shown up on many television shows and magazines, so there is always a long line when it’s time for lunch!

 

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Tah-dah! I ordered the “Gokujyo Oyakodon”! The meat is very soft and tasty! As expected of just chicken thighs and herbs! The eggs also mix well with the rice! There was so much that when I finished it, my stomach became full and I felt so happy!

The price is 1200 yen (cash only).

 

Access to Koedo Ohana Main Store

 

Address

2-2 Nakacho, Kawagoe

10 min walk from the Hon-Kawagoe Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line

Business Hours

Weekdays: 11:15am - 4:30pm (Last order: 4:30pm)

Weekends and holidays: 11am - 5pm (Last order: 4:30pm)

Official site

http://coedo-ohana.co.jp/

 

That was the eve of the Kawagoe Festival (float preparation)!

Let's meet again next time!