The Funaoka Matsuri
is held every 19th of October and it's a festival where the Takeisao Jinja (建勲神社)
(also read as Kenkun Jinja
) celebrates the entrance of Nobunaga's armies in Kyoto in 1569.
On the 19th, I was in the midst of the awesome celebrations of the Nagoya Matsuri
there in Nagoya city, but my devotion to Nobunaga was too strong, and like a moron I woke up in the early morning for a "jump" to Kyoto, to attend this matsuri
My first approach with the city bus line of Kyoto wasn't as shocking as it was for other tourists, and I just needed to flap my map under the nose of a local to find the required bus and identify my bus stop-- Let's say that I was lucky XD
Now, I reached the entrance of the Takeisao Jinja
quite easily, but something was definitely off:
From what I read during my researches, the ceremonies for Nobunaga were preceeded by a parade of people dressed as Nobunaga's soldiers to recreate the original march on Kyoto.
It was already past 11 am, but nobody could be seen in the temple's precints but the other visitors and the priests.
The ceremony was about to start, so for the moment I ignored this fact, and I went to assist with the other visitors.
The ceremony consisted in the blessing of the audience and then the blessing of the offers to the temple.
It was very suggestive.
During the ceremony, were held two little "shows" to remember Nobunaga through his favourite hobbies.
The first guest was a popular No actor who performed "Atsumori"
I was in the "wrong side" of the stage, as I guessed later, so I looked at the actor's back from the most of time =_=
I managed to take a clip of the whole performance, but as the upload takes for ever to load, I'll just share a few still from the video, to give you an idea of the performance:
After Atsumori, came the "Dance of the Butterflies", a famous shinto dance here enacted by two young miko in traditional clothes:
This was a little boring, but still suggestive and interesting.
Now, I was waiting for the performance of the riflemen and-- It didn't come ò_o
I was getting worried, and for a moment I guessed that I was in the wrong place... Probably both the parade and the matchlock performance were happening somewhere else, maybe in Funaoka park, on the opposite side of the shrine..? No way, I checked on my informations and the pictures of the past editions, I was definitely in the right place D:
Disheartened, I started to explore the temple's precints, trying to look for a hint:
Looking at all the buildings made me remember that on this occasion there was the chance to look at the treasures of the shrine, an armour belonging to Nobunaga, a famed sword, a copy of the Shinchokoki... I tried to face some of the staff of the shrine, asking about it.
The shocking lack of communication skills of these guys made me notice for the first time that there's no way to communicate with a Japanese unless you use their very own language.
The way these people were completely unable to get one useful information through me left me dumbfounded, and I realized my pathetic position, and how I probably looked like a molesting pest to the dutiful staff T^T
The only thing that I understood was that I couldn't see anything there. That was kinda shocking, and besides the blessing of the priest, I realized that I did less than one half of the things that I was there for...
I got back to the shrine, and took a few more pics of the shrine:
Then I grabbed a few omamori (I managed to understand where was the place to buy those by showing to the lady of the staff a picture of the shrine's map --ALL WHILE SHE KEPT GIVING ME DIRECTIONS IN FREAKING JAPANESE, DAMN, WASN'T IT CLEAR ENOUGH ALREADY THAT I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING OF WHAT YOU WERE SAYING XD ?!) for me and my friends and rushed back to Nagoya... The friendly Nagoya Castle was waiting for me..!