This page is dedicated to the Nagoya Matsuri celebrations that I had the chance to attend on October 18, 2014.
I'm a big fan of matsuri and I love Nagoya city, so I was really looking forward to this event.
Unfortunately, due to a clustered schedule, I could attend only the first day of the festival, but since I enjoyed the fun from the morning to night, I can say that I left completely satisfied.
In the morning I met with my dear Teap-dono and Arito-san and we proceeded to the visit of the city, since the parade was expected to start around 1340.
So we visited Ryounji in the morning, took a walk around the station's area and had lunch in a close-by restaurant serving Nagoya meshi: I decided to present myself a delicious misokatsu and ebi fry combo, that unfortunately I couldn't finish as a whole since the parade was about to start (I left some rice T^T I've been scolded by Arito-san T^T)--!
--I ate slowly 'cause I was savouring it, but probably I took too much time ToT !!
We were in a rush, but we managed to arrive in time for the parade of the Flower Cars.
I took various pictures, but since I don't know the most of people on the cars, I'm sharing only the one with the guys of the Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai-- You can see Nobunaga and Hideyoshi in the pic:
I've always seen these guys on video or paper, and damn, in real life they are even more handsome D:
Following the cars and Nana-chan doll (unfortunately I couldn't take any decent picture of the mascotte of Nagoya Station), was the performance of various dance teams of the city. Really fun and colourful!
I managed to get a short video of the performance of those that me and Teap nicknamed "the married women of Nagoya", that closed the parade of the performers ^^
Finally it was the time of the Procession of the Three Feudal Lords, where the Nagoya Festival celebrates being the birthplace of the heroes who unified Japan.
You have no idea of my awe during the approach of Nobunaga-sama!
In the pics above you can see the composition of Nobunaga's army: the infantry, the riflemen, his pages.
Then it was the time for Nobunaga's appearance *_* !
--We were a bit confused about this guy. Teap said that he was some kind of "court jester" of Nobunaga's retinue... I had some perplexities about it-- He looked like someone who lost a challenge and was forced to pay penance, LOL
He was played by a woman! --We were a little shocked, to be honest xD
Still, very dignified and cool, despite the horse being in a not ver collaborative mood!
Right after Nobu, a pretty Ranmaru:
So much make-up... I found it curious to see the pages looking like some kind of geisha∼
Following, Nobunaga's most trusted retainers and allies.
You can see, from the left, Shibata Katsuie, Maeda Toshiie and in the background Hideyoshi and Ieyasu:
Above is a close up of Toshiie, 'cause I love him D: and Nouhime.
To be honest, I found a little weird to see Hideyoshi and Ieyasu following Nobunaga as his retainers... Expecially because after a bit it's their turn to show up!
In fact, here's Hideyoshi and his crew:
The ladies are his wife Nene and his mother, Oomandokoro!
I noticed how also Hideyoshi was played by a woman and-- How only Nobunaga and his crew were granted horses for this parade!
Following Hideyoshi, was Kuroda Kanbei and his retainers... They are the Fukuoka Kuroda Omotenashi Bushotai coming over for a visit:
--One thing that I really wanted to see was the performance of the various bushotai groups that were invited for the festival, but many events were hold at the same time and all over the city-- I would have needed some ninjutsu and some proper orientationt see everything T_T; Oh, well...
After the guys from Fukuoka, a special contribution from some performers of Okinawa:
Next was the turn of Ieyasu, preceeded by his army and ladies:
It must be noted that Ieyasu's army was the most impressive... I'm not sharing more pictures 'cause otherwise this report would take three days to open, but that was really cool!
On a funny note-- The one who opened Ieyasu's army was this palanquin belonging to-- HIS DOG x'D
Probably he was the protagonist of some heroic story that I ignore--!
Along the parade, in certain spots (= the crossroads) there were some performances dedicated to famous battles of the Sengoku period that saw our warlords as protagonists.
I managed to take a video, but the action was so terribly slow (I guess that they stopped and posed the whole time to let people take decent pictures) that I prefer to share some pictures of the action instead:
FUCK YEAH, RIFLEMEN!
We got to know that the soldiers and warriors who took part in the battles came all from the military and police forces, as they were the only one who could boast the required training to move around with such heavy armours. A Japanese armour of that kind can weight even 15, 20 kilos!
Marching, posing and fighting with one can be quite the task!
It was already dark when we were done with the parade, and as I gave up on the kashimaki event T^T we headed for Honmachi street to see the beautiful parade of the dashi floats∼!
We managed to find a decent spot along the road where we could savour the show.
The floats are made and sponsored by each "quarter" of the city of Nagoya, and sported exclusive karakuri dolls that are poured with the pride of the locals.
This year, to celebrate the 60th edition of the festival, was organized this special evening parade, absolutely suggestive!
The cooler part of the parade was when the floats had to "turn": the whole thing were raised by the guys on their shoulders, and moved, making all the lanterns jump and shake!
I took a video to show you:
Walking the city in the evening was a nice chance to see the main buildings all lighten up for the occasion-- Here are the Aichi Prefectural Office and the Nagoya City Hall... Such curious architecture!
Our last stop was the Higashi Kikko Plaza, near the Nagoya castle, where we could get our fill of matsuri food (I picked some takoyaki and a beer) and see the performances of the karakuri as twilight approached∼
It's been a very fun day, but I'm a bit sad that I got to see only a little bit of the events, expecially because I attended only one day of the festival..! Hopefully next time I'll get to see everything properly ^_^ !