Thursday, January 26, 2012

Aomori Trip 2012 (Day 3) Neputa Mura con't / 青森旅行 2012 (三日目) ねぷた村つづき

Continuing our tour of the Neputa Mura.


Watching the Neputa demonstration for the next group of tourists from the second floor.


This is called a sasara.  In the early days before electricity, candles were used to light up the Neputa floats and they often caught on fire.  The tips of the sasara were soaked with water to put out any fires.


That concludes the Neputa Mura main exhibition, but there is still more.  The following is a display room featuring the history of the Neputa festival, old books describing the Neputa, how the Neputa floats are made, and miniature Neputas of the Chinese zodiac.


A display showing the set-pu and flow of the Neputa Festival.

Taiko drums used in the Neputa festival.  This particular taiko is called a shime taiko, and is also known as an akedo taiko.  The largest taiko drum used in the Neputa festival in Hirosaki measures 4 meters!

Mini Neputa / ミニねぷた

Check out the illustrations in these old books - they're awesome!

An ex-pat mannequin?  / マネキンが外国人?

At Neputa Mura, not only do you get a Neputa demonstration, but you get to check out the history, and following that, you can walk through a workshop area where you will find some masters working on making traditional items and toys.


Top Maker / コマ職人

Kokeshi dolls / こけし

As we are in Tsugaru, our tour wouldn't be complete without listening to a Tsugaru shamisen performance.


Tsugaru shamisen display / 津軽三味線

After touring Neputa Mura, it was now time for lunch, but that will be the next post.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Aomori Trip 2012 (Day 3) Neputa Mura / 青森旅行 2012 (三日目) ねぷた村

Apologies faithful readers - nephew was in town for the weekend from Aomori as he and my wife went to Saitama Super Arena for a K-Pop festival (that would be Korean Pop Music if you didn't know).  Getting back to my recent Aomori trip, after our hatsumode we headed back to Hirosaki to check out a place called Neputa Mura (translates to Neputa Village).  Not to be confused with Nebuta which is the name of the festival in Aomori.


Here we are at Neputa Mura / ねぷた村に到着

Yes, we are being silly tourists! / はい、陽気な観光客になりきってます!

A Neputa float / ねぷた

Before wandering around, there was a short explanation and demonstration of the Neputa festival and a chance for us tourists to try our hand at pounding on the huge taiko drums.


Goldfish Neputa, said to be the origins of the Neputa / 金魚ねぷたはねぷたの源でも言われてますってそのサインに書かれてます

This should give you an idea of how large the Neputa float is / この写真でねぷたの大きさが分かるでしょう

Don't be starin' at my butt, check out the design on the back!  / 俺のケツを見るな、ねぷたのデザインを見て!

I'm ready to participate / 準備万端

A rather large goldfish Neputa


A Neputa mikoshi? / ねぷた神輿?

The picture above is a replica of an early Edo era Neputa / 上記の写真は江戸初期のねぷた

Octopus Neputa / タコねぷた

I just love the art of the Neputa and Nebuta.  The tour is far from finished...