On May 3rd a festival called "senteisai" was held in Shimonoseki. I'm not exactly sure what the festival commemorates. Here's what the city website says: "In the Middle Age, the last battle between the Genji clan and the Heike clan broke out in Dannoura on 24 March 1185 and Yoshitsune won the battle by using the tides. On the other hand, Emperor Antoku died with three sacred treasures and the Heike clan was ruined. The Joro-sanpai (worshipped by court ladies) of the Sentei-sai Festival, which takes place at the Akama Shrine, is famous throughout Japan and is conducted to commemorate the Emperor Antoku, who drowned himself in Dannoura."

It was the most crowded I've ever seen the city. People must have come from all over Yamaguchi to see the parade and the festivities downtown. The whole day centered around a dance held at the famous Akama Shrine. Before the dance, women dressed in bright kimono and elaborate makeup and hair paraded through the city.

There were pretty little girls (maybe as young as 4 or 5) on palanquins surrounded by attendants, then progressively older girls followed until finally we could see what all the fuss was about:
She's not a geisha. I don't think. But she is a dancer. Video to follow.

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written by Ruthie @ 8:04 AM  
1 thoughts:
  • At 5/08/2008 8:29 PM, Blogger CLU said…

    I wonder if she is supposed to be representative of the Empress? Or just one of the Court ladies? Pretty cool parade!

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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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