Koto Kumin Matsuri
Koto Kumin Matsuri (Koto Citizens’ Festival) was held at Kiba Park in Tokyo on October 17-18, 2009. It was a sunny and warm autumn weekend, a perfect day for a festival. This festival covered the entire Kiba Park, which is huge, with a river and bridge separating the north and south areas.
As typical of Japanese festivals, there were lots of food and drinks stalls scattered throughout the park, as well as fruit and vegetables stands and a flea market.
This was a family oriented event so there were lots of activities for the little ones.
There were several stages throughout the park, offering different types of entertainment for young and old alike, from marching bands …
to musical rock bands (they were singing Rolling Stones songs) …
and traditional bon odori singing …
as well as hawaiian dancing …
… and giant (not really) Japanese monsters and robots fighting it out for world dominance for good measure!
Along with the stages, there were also a number of more mobile (street, or park in this case) performers.
The highlight of the festival was a number of Japanese folk arts performances by local citizens. The Kiyari and Kiyari-Nenbutsu are traditional chanting performed by lumbermen.
Sunamura-Bayashi is traditional festival folk music played in the Edo district, played by three kinds of Japanese traditional percussions and a horizontal bamboo flute.
Shishimai is a version of the Lion Dance practiced in Japan (originally included danced involving other animal symbols, including deer).
Tekomai is a traditional geisha parade wearing male costume such as men’s old hair style, male clothing and waraji (straw sandals).
The Fukagawa-no-Chikara-mochi originated from warehouse workers who carried rice bags, Japanese sake barrels and other heavy goods.
They participated in competitions for their skill and strength.