JAPAN PHOTOS

By Philbert Ono


Last additions - Higashi-Omi Giant Kite (Odako) Festival 2013 東近江大凧まつり
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Although the kite left the ground each time, it didn't stay in the air for long.Jun 05, 2013
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This is the last flight of several that day.Jun 05, 2013
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Around 100 people pull the giant kite. Junior high and older people can sign up to pull the kite.Jun 05, 2013
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Members of the Giant Kite Preservation Society pull the front of the rope.Jun 05, 2013
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The kite pullers get ready to run. A small taiko drum beats, faster and faster.Jun 05, 2013
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First they use long poles to prop up the giant kite.Jun 05, 2013
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Afternoon flying session from 2:30 pm to 3 pm when the festival ended.Jun 05, 2013
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Wind Goddesses fanning wind the traditional way.Jun 05, 2013
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Giant kite pullers.Jun 05, 2013
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Behind Hikonyan were Nagahama's Azai sister trio (Chacha, Hatsu, and Go).Jun 05, 2013
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Hiko-nyan kite trainJun 05, 2013
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Hiko-nyan kite train and hula girl arch kiteJun 05, 2013
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Flying trousersJun 05, 2013
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Kites for sale.Jun 05, 2013
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Stall selling kites. The long kite trains were sold out.Jun 05, 2013
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This is the first time they used this park for the festival. Closer to Lake Biwa so the wind should be stronger.Jun 05, 2013
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Taiko drummers.Jun 05, 2013
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Higashi-Omi has a sizable Brazilian population.Jun 05, 2013
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The entertainment stage provided entertainment like samba dancing and taiko drummers.Jun 05, 2013
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Lunch time! In the middle of the park are food booths and an entertainment stage.Jun 05, 2013
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The villages then started competing in kite-making and the size grew larger and larger. The giant kite they fly today is the size of 100 tatami mats (13 m x 12 m). The Higashi-Omi Giant Kite Preservation Society (東近江大凧保存会) maintains the kiJun 05, 2013
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Higashi-Omi's giant kite is a National Intangible Folk Cultural Property (選択無形民俗文化財) with a 300-year history. It started with villages flying kites for Boy's Day in May to celebrate the birth of a boy.Jun 05, 2013
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We visit the giant kite at rest. The back of the kite has many stickers written with kids' wishes.Jun 05, 2013
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The four Wind Goddesses pose for us. The four Wind Goddesses (風の女神) are like festival princesses and they beckon the wind to blow during the kite festival.Jun 05, 2013
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This kite's hanjimon has twin dragons that can be pronounced "shin-shin" (辰辰), a homonym for mind and body (心身). And the vermillion kanji reads "sukoyaka" (健やか), meaning good health. So the kite wishes for your "Jun 05, 2013
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The hanjimon (判じもん) kite design always has a twin pair of creatures and a large kanji character. Together they form a thematic catch phrase.Jun 05, 2013
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The kite is unique for its cutout and hanjimon (判じもん) design. Jun 05, 2013
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Made of washi paper (from Mino, Gifu) and a bamboo frame, the giant kite measures 13 meters high and 12 meters wide and weighs 700 kg.Jun 05, 2013
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They were going to pull the kite across the width of the park since the way blew that way.Jun 05, 2013
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At sround 11:30 am, they cleared the area and brought out the giant kite (odako).Jun 05, 2013
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Hiko-nyan (Hikone Castle's official mascot) meets hula girls!Jun 05, 2013
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The Awa Odori dancers also danced great in the wind. (Watch my video.)Jun 05, 2013
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Their feet fluttered in the wind and their hips rocked left and right like real hula dancers.Jun 05, 2013
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Needless to say, this was my favorite kite at the festival. How did they know someone from Hawaii was coming?Jun 05, 2013
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Huge arch kite of hula girls and Awa Odori dancers.Jun 05, 2013
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They're even wearing a lei and a flower in their hair!!Jun 05, 2013
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The hula girls were joined by Awa Odori girls from Tokushima.Jun 05, 2013
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Back of the hula girls.Jun 05, 2013
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To my delight, it was an arch kite of hula girls.Jun 05, 2013
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Then I stumbled across this arch kite.Jun 05, 2013
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Kite trains (連凧) are the crowd favorite.Jun 05, 2013
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This team is from Higashi-Omi City Hall's young employees group.Jun 05, 2013
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Thirty teams made "mini giant kites" and competed in kite design (図柄) and flying (飛揚). They went on the outdoor stage for kite design judging.Jun 05, 2013
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About 30 teams competed in kite-flying and design contests.Jun 05, 2013
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The kites are the size of two tatami mats.Jun 05, 2013
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Kite-flying contest.Jun 05, 2013
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Free shuttle buses ran from JR Notogawa Station to the park which had no public parking. Jun 05, 2013
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The festival name changed from Yokaichi Odako Matsuri to Higashiomi Odako Matsuri in May 2012 and the festival site changed in May 2013 to Fureai Undo Koen Park. MapJun 05, 2013
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The Higashi-Omi Giant Kite Festival (Higashi-Omi Odako Matsuri) is held on the last Sunday of May at Fureai Undo Park (ふれあい運動公園) in Notogawa, HigashiOmi, Shiga. The main highlight is the giant kite, flying at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.My video of the Higashi-Omi Giant Kite Festival on May 26, 2013. Due to a tragic kite crash in May 2015, this kite festival has been suspended since May 2016. It will not be held in May 2019 either.Jun 05, 2013
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Also see kite-flying contests, exotic kites from around Japan, and stage entertainment. Anybody can fly a kite too. From 10 am to 3 pm. Jun 05, 2013
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