fw050-20090808_3190.jpg
Held on the first Fri. and Sat. of Aug., the Fukushima Waraji Matsuri is mainly an evening parade of dancers. During Aug. 7-8, 2009, the 40th Fukushima Waraji Festival was held. I saw it on the second day.
fw051-20090808_3139.jpg
"Waraji" means straw sandals. In central Fukushima city, Ashio Shrine (足尾神社) at a mountain called Shinobu-yama (信夫山) has Japan's largest waraji at 12 meters long and weighing 2 tons.
fw052-20090808_3436.jpg
The giant waraji sandal is an offering for healthy legs/feet. On the first day of the festival (which I missed in 2009), they carry this giant waraji to the festival grounds along Route 13. Here it is displayed at the intersection.
fw053-20090808_3141.jpg
Closeup of the giant waraji.
fw054-20090808_3143.jpg
fw055-20090808_3138.jpg
Ekimae-dori street leading to Fukushima Station is closed to traffic.
fw056-20090808_3193.jpg
On Aug. 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm, they held the 1st Waraji Day Dance Contest on Ekimae-dori. (わらじDayダンス選手権)
fw057-20090808_3229.jpg
For a few hours, numerous dance groups performed in a contest. They even had a hula troupe dance, to my delight as I'm from Hawaii.
fw058-20090808_3216.jpg
Notice anything unusual about these hula dancers?
fw059-20090808_3200.jpg
Look at their footwear. They are wearing a pair of waraji straw sandals.
fw060-20090808_3221.jpg
Also see my YouTube video here.
fw061-20090808_3207.jpg
fw062-20090808_3255.jpg
Many of the dancers wore waraji-related things.
fw063-20090808_3244.jpg
fw064-20090808_3262.jpg
This girl's homemade happi coat says "Waraji Matsuri."
fw065-20090808_3265.jpg
A panel of judges were there to judge the dancers.
fw066-20090808_3278.jpg
Each dance group had to perform two numbers. The first one had to be "Dancing Soda Night" for 3 min. and the second one could be anything for 5 min. or less.
fw067-20090808_3359.jpg
A trio of belly dancers.
fw068-20090808_3314.jpg
Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.
fw069-20090808_3321.jpg
Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.
fw070-20090808_3339.jpg
Also see my YouTube video here.
fw071-20090808_3344.jpg
Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.
fw071a-fukushimawaraji1.youtube
My YouTube video featuring hula dancers in waraji straw sandals, hip-hop, belly dancers, and more during the 1st Waraji Day Dance Contest on Ekimae-dori near Fukushima Station on Aug. 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm. Also, giant waraji races.
fw072-20090808_3373.jpg
Announcement of the winners.
fw073-20090808_3382.jpg
A good-size crowd watched the dance contest.
fw074-20090808_3429.jpg
Near the intersection of Ekimae-dori and Route 13 was this entertainment stage.
fw075-20090808_3423.jpg
They also displayed this giant golden waraji.
fw076-20090808_3427.jpg
Giant golden waraji had ema votive tablets written with people's wishes.
fw077-20090808_3438.jpg
The giant golden waraji was used to open the waraji races on the second day of the festival.
fw078-20090808_3440.jpg
On Aug. 8, 2009 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, the second day of the festival, they held waraji races along Route 13 (Shinobu-dori).
fw079-20090808_3447.jpg
Groups of children, women, etc., were to pull this large waraji on wheels on the 300-meter long race course along Route 13. A pair of large waraji were raced down the road. Then raced back by another pair of racers.
fw080-20090808_3454.jpg
Waraji race at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri Festival. Each race team had to have 10 members. Also see my YouTube video here.
fw081-20090808_3471.jpg
After the waraji races, they also had taiko float races where people pulled/pushed a taiko float in a race.
fw082-20090808_3488.jpg
Finally at 7:30 pm, the main event called Dancing Soda Night started along Route 13 and Ekimae-dori.
fw083-20090808_3595.jpg
fw084-20090808_3491.jpg
fw085-20090808_3519.jpg
Dancing maids. Also see my YouTube video here.
fw086-20090808_3528.jpg
fw087-20090808_3531.jpg
fw088-20090808_3589.jpg
Hula dancers
fw089-20090808_3587.jpg
Apparently, it was their first time to appear in this festival.
fw090-20090808_3591.jpg
They weren't wearing waraji.
fw091-20090808_3541.jpg
Also see my YouTube video here.
fw092-20090808_3537.jpg
fw093-20090808_3539.jpg
fw094-20090808_3553.jpg
School girls
fw095-20090808_3556.jpg
fw096-20090808_3559.jpg
fw097-20090808_3563.jpg
fw098-20090808_3568.jpg
Many of the dance groups were from dance studios or schools.
fw099-20090808_3574.jpg
fw100-20090808_3579.jpg
Fukushima Waraji Matsuri
fw101-20090808_3586.jpg
Fukushima Waraji Matsuri
fw102-20090808_3594.jpg
Eisa group from Okinawa
fw103-20090808_3599.jpg
fw104-20090808_3602.jpg
At the intersection. Notice the giant waraji straw sandal.
fw105-20090808_3614.jpg
Some fireworks
fw106-20090808_3625.jpg
Also see my YouTube video here.
fw107-20090808_3636.jpg
Awards ceremony. The festival ended at about 9:30 pm.
fw108-fukushimawaraji2.youtube
My YouTube video featuring Diverse dance troupes on the streets of Fukushima in the evening at the annual Fukushima Waraji Matsuri. This is the evening parade (Dancing Soda Night) on Aug. 8, 2009.
60 files on 1 page(s)