Hundreds of Photos Were Taken
Yesterday two summer festivals (matsuri) took place at Kin Dam.
The Kin Dam Festival and the 20th annual Kin Eisa Matsuri were held in a dam park.
On a July afternoon the temperatures outside are almost unbearably sticky hot.
The Dam Matsuri took place from 10 AM until 5 PM. I skipped that one!
Arriving early enough to check some camera positions out, I stayed mostly in the shade.
The smells of food cooking in festival tents, drifted over my way and was irresistible.
So, I went and gobbled some food (you don't want to hear about) down.
Then, walked over to these Chondara dudes and asked if, I could take their photo.
Chondara, also known as Gajan Gani, are sorta friendly clowns.
After showing them how the photo looked on the camera LCD screen I said "Thanks" and left.
There never used to be children, doing the Eisa dances at festivals, in years gone by.
But, recently you may see kids out dancing with the adults almost anywhere.
Not sure if these are sisters or, mother and daughter, I didn't bother to ask.
Whoever the children are, they must practice plenty because they're really good.
The timing of their movements is excellent and, they even know how to chant and shout.
It isn't just the young girl children out there; boys get in on the act too.
These guys bang the drums, just like the big men do and, they do some high stepping, too.
One toddler was probably too small for the Eisa uniforms but, got to dance anyway.
Other little kids on the sidelines sorta kept cheering him on. Bet they envied him!
The light started fading as the sun crept down behind the mountains and I was glad.
A gentle breeze would soon start cooling things down out on that hot field.
It's difficult taking photos of the dancers, with all the guests surrounding the performers.
You're not allowed to just kick grandmas and grandpas, to get them out of the way. Rats.
Sundown Saved the Day
There are always plenty of people who know me, at these events and we get to chat.
The hardest part, is when they try bringing me some saki or beers.
Usually, I tell them I'm working and can't drink until I finish. They understand.
The Gajan Gani (Chondara/Clowns) from Nakagawa performed here.
They got their district started with the night's Eisa dances and, they were great performers.
Had there been a competition among the Eisa groups, these folks would have won!
Nakagawa, had some little tyke drummers, too.
This would be the last group I photographed doing their dances. Time to leave the crowd.
Hanabi or Fireworks Next on the Schedule
It happens to me all the time. The fireworks go off right where you don't want them to be.
Heading away from the crowds, I set my camera and tripod up at the edge of a field.
The first few blasts took place almost directly overhead.
Knowing I probably wouldn't be getting any award winning photos, I didn't cuss.
All you can do is move the camera lens around and hope for the best.
It's alright to cuss, too. Just do it softly so, nobody can hear you.
The wind was blowing but, all the smells and smoke of the fireworks hung in the air.
Next year if this matsuri is in the same location, I'll distance myself from the explosions.
Like, get up on a hill away from the fairgrounds and maybe get some reflections in water.
It was a festival at a dam. Why didn't I think about reflection shots? Dammit!
My parting shot. I'll call it, "Sunflower."