One Mikoshi, Two Mikoshi, Three Mikoshi, Four …

Check out the top of this float.  After examining it, you might believe it to be too heavy to be carried on shoulders, right?

Mikoshi, or unfinished residence?

Nope--it's a mikoshi all right!

Making the mikoshi as heavy as possible seemed to be part of the allure.

What a story this could tell (or does tell)

This type of float is seen in other parades, such as the one held annually in Aormori.  It appears to be a peculiarly-Japanese type of impressionism, and no doubt depicts some mythological or historical event, probably something everyone in Japan learns about in primary school. We have our Washington crossing the Delaware and our legend of Paul Bunyan; they have their Takatsuna and Kagesue.

Taiko happens

These boys are having an easier time of it with their wheeled cart.  But I suspect it would be difficult to both carry and play the taiko drums at the same time.

Dragons, long before Harry Potter was dreamed of

See the dragon chasing the dragon’s egg on top of the pole?  They do this same act at the Kappa Festival at the Komaki onsen (hot baths resort), but they do it in boats.  A “kappa” is a mythical Japanese monster, but it’s name is a pun, since kappa also means cucumber.  I have a stuffed-toy kappa doll holding a cucumber.

The intensity builds

Things are starting to get crazy, but not nearly as crazy as they will get.  Here’s one more shot of the crowds building, and then I’ll close for today.

Arriving at "Green-Pole" Street

No one knew the real name for this street, if it indeed had a name, so it was called after the green poles that lined the sidewalks.  You can see a few of them n the background.  The street was one-way during the day, but at night it was a two-way street.  Taxi drivers were pretty much the only people driving at night.

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