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To see the Maihara Hikiyama Matsuri, get out the east side of JR Maibara Station. Yutani Shrine and the hikiyama floats will be near the foot of the hill straight ahead.
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Maihara Hikiyama Matsuri is held annually on the three-day weekend in Oct. around the 10th (Sports Day, a national holiday). Sunday is the main day. Poster for the Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri held on Oct. 9-11, 2010.
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Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri has three ornate floats, but only two of them appeared in the festival in 2010. (Now, only one float appears.) Both floats feature boys performing kabuki at few locations in the Maibara neighborhood shown here.
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Started in the 18th century, the Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri was inspired by the Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri which is a larger festival with boys performing kabuki on ornate floats. Path to Yutani Shrine.
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Entrance to Yutani Shrine, the first location where the two floats perform kabuki on the festival's second and main day. MAP
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Near Yutani Shrine is a storehouse for the third hikiyama float (Shoouzan 松翁山). Every year, two of the three floats take turns to appear in the festival. Each float represents a neighborhood in Maihara.
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It rained on this day on Oct. 10, 2010, so the floats were covered and the kabuki performance was delayed.
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Fortunately, the rain stopped and they took of the vinyl sheet and started the kabuki performance at Yutani Shrine.
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The float is about 5.6 meters high. Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri, Shiga. 壽山
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Wiping off the water on the roof of the hikiyama float.
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Yutani Shrine is a short walk from the east exit of JR Maibara Station. Its history spans many centuries. It once was the guardian shrine for the Kyogoku castle lord living on the hill above it. 湯谷神社
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Yutani Shrine in Maibara, Shiga Prefecture. During the Edo Period, it received a number of gifts from the Ii clan in Hikone. 湯谷神社
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This spectator area was set up, but the rain made it almost useless.
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Finally, the kabuki performance started. Show time was 12:15 pm here at Yutani Shrine, but it was delayed by over an hour due to rain. This is the Juzan float from Minamimachi. 壽山
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The kabuki is performed by boys from the 1st grade to 6th grade. The play is about an hour long. They perform 3 times on the first day and 4 times on the second and third days of the festival.
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Thus year, the Juzan float performed a kabuki play called, "."
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The kabuki plays are scheduled so that you can see kabuki on both floats consecutively at the same location. They are not performed at the same time.
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri, Shiga.
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Even if you don't understand what they're saying or the story, there's enough eye candy and theatrics to make it interesting to anyone.
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Six boys perform in this play.
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A pair of foxes.
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The first kabuki ended, and now they are moving out the first hikiyama float. The float behind it will be put in position for the next kabuki performance at Yutani Shrine in Maibara.
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The Juzan hikiyama float is hauled toward the shrine exit.
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The kabuki actors ride the float.
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At the shrine exit, the float stops to unload the kabuki actors.
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Unloading the kabuki actors from the hikiyama.
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They are carried on the shoulders of a man to a waiting car.
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The hikiyama float is then pulled along the narrow road heading for the next location where it will perform again.
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The second hikiyama is pulled into position at Yutani Shrine.
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Flute players
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One of the boy kabuki actors is carried from a car to the hikiyama.
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Another kabuki actor (without his wig) is carried.
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The second hikiyama called Asahiyama 旭山, starts its kabuki play.
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This play is performed by 5 boys.
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Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri in Oct.
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A bow at the end of the play.
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Turning the wheels using wedged sticks.
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It was quite a bit of work to turn this float.
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Heading for the shrine entrance.
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They stop to offload the boys.
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Two men on the hikiyama float's roof make sure overhead wires and cables are lifted out of the way.
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After Yutani Shrine, this hikiyama performs at a small neighborhood for its second performance of the day.
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They perform the same play.
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Rear view of hikiyama. The actors await their cue to appear.
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Tapestry on rear of hikiyama.
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Front wheel for steering.
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mh295a-maibarahikiyama.youtube
My video of Maibara Hikiyama Festival 2010Maihara Hikiyama Matsuri is held annually on the three-day weekend in Oct. around the 10th (Sports Day, a national holiday). Sunday is the main day.
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Storehouse for the Juzan hikiyama float.
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About Maibara Hikiyama Matsuri.
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Maihara Hikiyama Matsuri lanterns at night near Maibara Station.
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The Maihara Hikiyama Matsuri is also held at night. They perform once or twice after dark.
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It looks nice at night as well, as the floats are well lit. These night photos were taken in Oct. 2008.
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Maihara Hikiyama Matsuri, Shiga.
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Group photo.
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Pulling a hikiyama at night in Maibara.
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A lot less people at night.
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Also see the Nagahama Hikiyama Matsuri here.
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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