The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

Hamaorisai

Lack of sleep stopped me sorting these images yesterday but it was worth it for a morning at my favourite festival with by good friend Chris Willson.

The Hamaorisai matsuri in Chigasaki celebrates the rescuing of a Shinto relic that was washed ashore on the beach here in the 19th Century. This year the blessings the sea affords this country have been mixed. It is not easy to forget anywhere on the coast these days that this ocean was the same one that swelled and crashed ashore in a black wave of destruction following the great east Japan Earthquake on March 11th. Even in Kanagawa the effects of that day could be felt and not only in the worry locals expressed about living near the coast but also in the fact that despite an approaching typhoon and large waves (plus viciously strong undertow that knocked one woman near me off her feet and carried her several tens of metres out in a few seconds) there were no police around to stop people taking the mikoshi into the surf. Previous festivals where weather conditions had been similar had meant humourless uniformed men stopping everyone getting wet but this year as one festival official told me, all the police were in Tohoku helping with the tsuanmi clean-up  and this mad, wonderful matsuri was allowed to do its thing.

Dangerously good fun.

Busy, Later

Damon

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2 responses

  1. Can see why it’s your favourite matsuri, I always love seeing your pics from it. Brilliant as always.

    July 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  2. Pingback: Beach Life (almost) | sungypsy blog

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