My town of Akigawa held its summer "matsuri," or festival, recently. It started at noon and ended promptly at 9 p.m. In between were scores of dance and musical performances, capped off with a two-hour parade of mobile shrines and music floats featuring mythical creatures. I have to guess what a lot of it means, but I did get the sense that the whistles being tooted during the closing parade were mimicking the cicadas that start squealing from the trees this time of year. There's almost 10 minutes of video, so settle in with a drink and some snacks.
I recently moved to Tokyo to begin working as a "roving" Asia reporter for a newspaper, and so I've rejiggered this blog as a result. Now with live-action video!!
At risk of understatement, life is quite different in Japan than in China. Food, traffic, language, customs -- so many new things to learn and assimilate. I will be traveling in Asia for my work and, of course, returning to China from time to time. Before I moved to China in 2006 I read in guide books about many foreigners who'd lived in China spent the rest of their lives scheming how to get back there. I now understand.
Crane Among Chickens will be expanding its breadth to include all of Asia, wherever my travels and interests take me.
Today is New Years Day 2012, so I think it appropriate to post a few pictures and a video of the taiko drummers who played near my apartment in Akigawa, Tokyo, today.