August 8, 2012

Dissecting Matsuri Outfits

The annual summer festival in Tsukishima was last weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the actual event, but I walked down the main street just as it was beginning to prepare for the festival.

Hundreds of names are listed on this wooden board -- names of everyone (generally from the community) who donated to the festival.

The man in white walking in the center of the photo is wearing a koikuchi shirt ("carp mouth" shirt, because the opening of the sleeve looks like a carp's open mouth) and momohiki pants in a pattern that makes him look a bit like a walking skeleton. The white tabi shoes also add to the overall effect.

I particularly like seeing kids dressed up in festival gear. It's simply traditional clothing, but it makes them look practically avant-garde today. The little boys here are wearing a harakake, a tunic/apron that is generally favored by women. Even their tenugui cloths (worn on their heads) match their outfits!

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