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Monday, 8 November 2010

Jumpa Ikan Merah Gergasi di Karatsu Kunchi (Festival)

Konnichiwa. :eheh: This week's Travel & living segment in Yatie Chomeyl's blog will brings you to enjoy the festival that we've observed on last Wednesday; as it was a public holiday in Japan meant for culture day. In order to cherished the special holiday, hubby & I decided to headed to Karatsu which is about 35km away from our home. There was this special festival held on that day; which is known as Karatsu Kunchi.

=- the place where the event took place -=

Karatsu Kunchi is an autumn festival at the Karatsu Shrine. It takes place annually from November 2 to 4. It is an epic event in which local people, in time with rhythmical music, as many as 14 enormous floats with huge lanterns are carried swinging through the town and, on the second daypeace, down to the sea.

=- the musical instruments -=

We went on the third day of the Karatsu Kunchi Festival. On the third day, teams dressed in the traditional uniforms of Edo Period firefighters :ngacir: pull the Hikiyama through their neighborhoods. This is the day on which these floats are returned to their storage building, the Hikiyama (Float) Exhibition Hall.
=- the exhibition stage -=

We arrived to the place just about perfectly on time before the last moment of the festival to end. We have to park our car nearby the sea though it is quiet far i.e. about 1km away from where the event took place. Luckily the weather was nice and the view of the sea was breathtaking, thus the 1km walk is not tiring at all although we bumped into a little bit of difficulties on pushing baby SN's stroller on the sandy beach *tapi bukan I yang kena tolak pun, hubby yang tertonggek2 tolak stroller tu sengihnampakgigi ngeeee*.
=- baby SN buat muka bengang sebab kena kejut dari tidur semata2 untuk posing -=

• In 1980 Karatsu Kunchi was designated an star**Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property**
• The floats, which are built from gilded paper, date back to the 19th century.
• After the festival, the floats are exhibited in the float museum behind the Karatsu Shrine
** An important intangible folk cultural property refers to manners and customs related to food, clothing and shelter, vocation, faith, annual events, and folkloric performing arts, etc., which have been established by the people in daily life and passed down through generations, deemed especially valuable by the State. **

• This festival features floats called hikiyama, the largest ones being 6.8 meters tall and 3 tons in weight.
• These gigantic floats, which are lacquered and finished with gold and silver leaf deserve to be described as artistic masterpieces.encem
• The oldest surviving float is the Akajishi - Red Lion, which was produced back in 1819; it has since undergone major repairs 6 times, and still retains its original form to this day.

=- Akajishi = Red lion -=

• Each float(hikiyama) — is drawn through the streets of the city by teams of bearers selected from families living in the fourteen traditional neighborhoods of Karatsu, to the chant of "En-ya! En-ya! En-ya!"(or"Yoi-sa! Yoi-sa! Yoi-sa!") :music: and the music of taiko drummers and flutists perched on the floats' base.
=- 1,2,3~ pull! -=

The basic structure of each Hikiyama is made from wood, and topped with a large decoration made from clay or wood over which, along with hundreds of sheets of washi paper, linen and other materials are laid.
The surface is covered with different types of lacquer and finished with gold and silver leaf. It is said that each neighborhood spent enormous sums of money on the floats that took 2 to 3 years to complete.

=- the gold and silver leaf on the floats -=

The 14 Hikiyama that are still used today were offered to Karatsu Shrine between 1819 and 1876 are :- nerd
  1. red lion (1819) 
  2. blue(green) lion1824
  3. Turtle and fisherman URASHIMA Taro 1841
  4. Helmet of Samurai MIYAMOTO Yoshitsune (1844
  5. sea bream1845
  6. phoenix-shaped ship1846
  7. flying dragon1846
  8. golden lion (1847
  9. Helmet of Samurai TAKEDA Shingen1864
  10. Helmet of Samurai UESUGI Kenshin1869
  11. drunken monster orge and the helmet of Samurai MINAMOTO Yorimitsu1869
  12. lion grabbing a ball1875
  13. tiger-headed orca1876
  14. dragon-headed ship1876

=- green lion -=

We managed to caught a glimpse on five of the floats which are the red lion, green lion, phoenix-shaped ship, helmet of samurai, dragon-headed ship and the sea bream.
=- red lion -=

=- green lion -=
=- dragon headed ship -=
=- phoenix shaped ship -=
=- helmet of samurai -=
=- sea bream -=

The most attractive floats to me is of course the SEA BREAM; because as I was looking at the fish floats; I was thinking: "Perrgrghhh, kalau dapat tangkap ikan besar macam ni, berapa bulan la baru nak habis makan weh?". sengihnampakgigi Nyam..nyam..nyam...buat sup sedap nih!.
=- care for a bite of sea bream, anyone? -=

We were also given the chance to see the interior of those giant floats. I could see that there were those musical instruments :lamagawa: as well as barrels of sake(Japanese liquor) stored inside the float; provided for the team members. Agaknya sebab tu lah diorang boleh pakai baju nipis2 je dalam sejuk2 ni, sebab dah kepanasan teguk arak bertong2.

=- the bell + the original 'selipar jepun' -=

=- inside view of the floats -=

=- kampaiiiiii-=

Overall, I can conclude that it was really a once in a lifetime experience to the three of us. We did enjoy this Karatsu Kunchi festival although it was quiet uncomfortable to enjoy it with another thousands of spectators that also crowded the streets to celebrate the harvest festival.

=- baby SN is excited to see those enormous floats -=

=- baby SN & daddy is standing amongst the crowd -=

At first, I was kind of concerned whether baby SN will be kind of frightened and disturbed by the eery look of the floats. However, he doesn't seem to be bothered by those weird looking floats but instead he enjoy the event as much as we did.

=- baby SN's enjoying the Karatsu Autumn Festival -=

I was told that about 15 000 people join this festival every year; and it's glad to know that the three of us do contribute on the numbers of spectators for the year 2010. *Ramai sangat orang sampai terpaksa panjat base tiang bawah jejantas tu semata2 nak capture gambar dan video siul huhuhuhu, semangat betol kan?*.
=- mommy gigih panjat sambil dukung baby SN -=

=- left pic: daddy pulak dukung baby SN; right pic: mommy & baby SN with the floats -=
=- SN's family with the bearers (orang2 kuat yang tarik floats) -=

# Info gathered from : Japan National Tourism and Wikipedia

Pssssttt : balik dari tengok ikan gergasi tu, kami gi jalan2 kat kampung ninja pulak. :ayuk: Nanti I cerita kat next entry pasal kampung ninja tu ye.

9 words of wisdom & comments:

isabelle said...

dpt buat sup ikan merah sedap nih. hehehe

R28est said...

ma ni... suke tipu!

ingat la ikan betul2.. haihhh

*lama tak komen kat cni.. hik :p

e.l.i.s.s.m.i.e said...

mcm2 festival lah dorang ni erkk..syoknya ikan merah gergasi tu buat gulai tempoyak..hehehehe :p

Nadiah Sidek said...

untung yatie byk boleh belajar psl japan culture. mcm2 aktiviti org jepun ek

Hamizah said...

mcm2 festival kat jepon ye..
comelnya ikan2 tu..

Huda said...

rajin gak akak g festival2 cam ni :) bagus kan tgk culture org lain..hehe..hah, kg ninja cam best :)

yatie chomeyl said...

isabelle >> i dh buat u mengidam eh? hehe

imah >> mana de tipu, btol la :p

eliss >> ikan merah boleh buat gulai tempoyk jugak eh? ingatkan ikan patin je..nyam nyam nyam

yatie chomeyl said...

nadiah >> tu la, diorg ni byk adat dan budaya..seronok dpt tengok

k.hmizah >> comel kan, raso mace nok siang2 wat sup jah kui3x

huda >> sambil jalan2 kenal budaya diorang ;)

e.l.i.z.@ said...

*x baco pun..tgk gambar jah haha jujur okeh :P

langit denu biru dih...lawa lah..kalu wat photoshoot ni hehhe

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