Saturday, October 22, 2011

So I haven't written anything in a while, not much has been going on. I've been going to school, coming home, studying, not really much. I had this week off because the other students had midterms which I didn't have to take. Today though I decided to head out to downtown Himeji to find myself some new clothes. Fashion is entirely different in Japan, its kind of difficult to explain. Any way I ran into some friends from school and with their help and the help of a store clerk I picked myself out some new clothes. Do you think I look Japanese now? Will people stop staring?

A week ago in my area there was a HUGE festival that over 100,000 people attended. It's apparently very famous in Japan and its name loosely translates too "The fighting festival" basically, about 40 men come dancing into the open area with a shrine carried on poles on their shoulders. The men all wear a colored cloth around their heads and a special diaper- ish looking thing.....thats it. Inside the shrine are a few more men playing Japanese drums. All the men chant and they carry the shrine through the main area, then a bunch of other men with decorated poles try to tip the shrine over. Then they bring in more shrines and they ram them against each other and try to knock each other one has a clue what this is about. I looked at guidebooks, I asked at least 5 people, they consulted guidebooks, no one has a clue what this is about. It was still an awesome experience and really interesting. I'll try to post a video if I can. This festival is also very dangerous though, a lot of fights break out and last year a few people were killed. To my knowledge no one died this year. (yay!) The festival took up the entire day, my host family some friends and I ate lunch while watching the fights. It was a ton of fun.