Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Windup doll's show (Karakuri Ningyo) of The Inuyama Festival

Last weekend, I enjoyed Inuyama Festival (Inuyama Matsuri), so this time and next time, I'd like to introduce the festival on my blog.

The Inuyama Festival has a long history of 373 years and it also be designated as one of the nation's significant intangible folk cultural asset. So the festival is one of the biggest festivals in our area.

Every year, we can enjoy the festival for two days, so I can't write about the festival only once and I would need two or three articles for the festival.

The first day called "Shingaku-Sai" is April 7th, and the second day called "Hongaku-Sai" is April 8th. The both of the days, total 13 floats (Yama) are get together in front of Haritsuna shrine under Inuyama castle, and then their floats dedicate their wind-up doll's (Karakuri Ningyo) Show in daytime, and we can see the very beautiful 13 floats with 365 lanterns lighted by candles in nighttime.

In Spring, a lot of cherry blossoms are in full bloom in the castle town of Inuyama city. We can enjoy the wind-up doll's Show of the festival, and also enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms and the float in the nighttime. I want to recommend you to visit in Inuyama city in the season.

On this article, I describe the wind-up doll's Shows of the floats (Yama) in the first day.

When I arrived at the Haritsuna shrine at the castle town in Inuyama city, there're a lot of floats like the picture. The number is 13 and every float has the wind-up doll's show, the fact is rare thing in Japan.

The structure of floats have a three-story and the first is for musical accompaniments, the second is for four or five people handling the wind-up dolls and the floor is covered by curtain, and the third is the stage for wind-up dolls.

This is a picture of the musical accompaniments on the first. We can see some children who look five years old beating Japanese drums. But there are also some adults performing Japanese flute.

The floats have four wheels and they can only move backward and forward. So they don't have any functions turning right or left, so they should turn by the only power of people. So the floats make their tire tracks after turning. Can you see the tracks on the picture?

I took the people pulling the float. The front pullers decide the way, the pullers under the float push the float and the back pullers push and steer the float.

I took the pullers taking a rest after moving to the place in position with their float. We can have every alcohol on the street in Japan, so the festival is really an exciting time.

And one of the highlights is wind-up doll's (Karakuri Ningyo) Show, and I enjoyed two kinds of the wind-up dolls.
1. The dolls turn in to a something.
2. The dolls give an excellent performance.

So, let's check out some pictures of the wind-up doll's Show.

At first, the doll of the float turned into the shrine.

The doll entranced on the stage, and danced, and then turned into the shrine.

When we enjoyed the transformation, the audience made a storm of applause. Of cause, I was included such audience.

I took the pictures during the shrine was turned into the doll again.

It was interesting for me. The six floats started to move to Inuyama station after their performances.

The windup doll Show on the picture is the doll pick a bud of a red flower and put it into the stand. After putting, the bud flowered and the doll and the flower started to dance.

I was surprised when the red flower was flowering and spinning.

This windup doll was born from the white sphere, and the doll went up the stairs.

Finally, the doll flew at a makimono that is a hand scroll.

The letter written "the sun, the moon (Nichi Gettsu)" rose.

Can you see the first picture and guess the gimmick? The doll was going up the stairs. I can't guess it, and so amazing!

This doll also nice! The right doll…..

…beat the drum during hand standing on it.

The next is really fantastic!

The left doll standing on the stage…..

ridded on the other doll's shoulders.

And the doll took him to the place under the bar.

And the doll grabbed the bar and lifted up.

Finally, the doll turn twice with the bar! I can't understand the gimmicks.

The next windup doll Show is Urashima. The story of Urashima is one of the most popular old tales in Japan. And the show based on the story.

The girl who is Otohime entranced on the stage with a box called "Tamate Bako".

Can you see the doll that has white hair with smoke? After opening the box, the box gave smoke to him, and it made him be old.

After windup doll's show, we were caught in the rain. So we couldn't enjoy the festival at night.

If you're interested in Inuyama, please check more!
Inuyama City in Aichi

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