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Bonden Festival, Akita

  Mar 12th, 2010

The Bonden Festival is held in various parts of Akita-ken. I attended this one in Yokote City. A Bonden represents a mythical marker point for the gods to descend to our world. The Bonden is carried through the streets and holds with it the prayers of the business and community for a prosperous year.

The Tiger is either trying to get back up or coming down, not sure which.

The Tiger is either trying to get back up or coming down, not sure which.

This entry was simple but very bold. It kept trying to run up and down the street which sent people ducking for cover in case it fell.

This entry was simple but very bold. It kept trying to run up and down the street which sent people ducking for cover in case it fell.

Another couple of entries to compare.

Another couple of entries to compare.

Two more of the displays in the Bonden Festival.

Two more of the displays in the Bonden Festival.

Two nice Bonden exhibits.

Two nice Bonden exhibits.

The JR Bonden being propped up.

The JR Bonden being propped up.

The object of the Bonden is not that they fight, but occasionally they may bump into each other as they are running up and down the street.

The object of the Bonden is not that they fight, but occasionally they may bump into each other as they are running up and down the street.

We have a Bonden down. Looks like the police may be on standby in the background.

We have a Bonden down. Looks like the police may be on standby in the background.

Determination on the faces here as this JR group parades their Bonden down the street.

Determination on the faces here as this JR group parades their Bonden down the street.

Walking through the crowd.

Walking through the crowd.

Lots of guys in this group getting ready to hear the winners of the best Bonden Award.

Lots of guys in this group getting ready to hear the winners of the best Bonden Award.

The Bonden is quite heavy and takes a lot of strength and determination to keep upright.

The Bonden is quite heavy and takes a lot of strength and determination to keep upright.

Looks like this guy needs to move a bit quicker to get out of the way here.

This guy needs to move a bit quicker to get out of the way here.

Lots of fun when the Bonden falls down. Everyone comes in to lend a hand.

Lots of fun when the Bonden falls down. Everyone comes in to lend a hand.

Looks like we are going to need more help on this one !

Looks like we are going to need more help on this one !

Some of the children get to walk along the parade route.

Some of the children get to walk along the parade route.

Plenty of color and characters combining to make the matsuri a great event.

Plenty of color and characters combining to make the matsuri a great event.

when the objects fell they were difficult to get back up again. Looks like the guy on the left has got something tangled in his hair.

When the Bonden fell they were difficult to get back up again. Looks like the guy on the left has got something tangled in his hair.

One of the displays shining against a blue sky.

One of the displays shining against a blue sky.

I was invited to have a drink from this fellow's Sake cup. I told him instead I would take his photograph. Kanpai !

I was invited to have a drink from this fellow's Sake cup. I told him instead I would take his photograph. Kanpai !

A portable shrine getting ready to be shown in the parade.

A portable shrine getting ready to be shown in the parade.

Plenty of color in these simple jackets. This red really stood out.

Plenty of color in these simple jackets. This red really stood out.

Another jacket, another everyday scene at the festival.

Another jacket, another everyday scene at the festival.

A portable gas bottle and a makeshift Nabe. Looks like the chefs might have had a few drinks too.

A portable gas bottle and a makeshift Nabe. Looks like the chefs might have had a few drinks too.

Some great snow footwear being shown off here.

Some great snow footwear being shown off here.

Great day out for these locals, looking down the main street.

Great day out for these locals, looking down the main street.

Festivals normally mean lots of fun and often Japanese Sake is involved

Festivals normally mean lots of fun and often Japanese Sake is involved

The middle of the day got quite warm and against the backdrop of snow and Sake it was time for some to just take a nap.

The middle of the day got quite warm and against the backdrop of snow and Sake it was time for some to just take a nap.

Main street, Yokote, Akita-ken

Main street, Yokote, Akita-ken

Bonden in the background with a Kamakura on the right. Great scenes from Akita.

Bonden in the background with a Kamakura on the right. Great scenes from Akita.

Peering out from inside one of the Kamakura

Peering out from inside one of the Kamakura

The winners of one of the many contests.

The winners of one of the many contests.

Local children enjoying the day out.

Local children enjoying the day out.

Tiger loose on the roof.

Tiger loose on the roof.

Waling back through the crowd.

Walking back through the crowd.

More Bonden approaching

More Bonden approaching.

Baseball Bonden

Baseball Bonden

The cloth used on one of the Bonden.

The cloth used on one of the Bonden.

Wonderful color here in the cloth and markings for part of this Bonden.

Wonderful color here in the cloth and markings for part of this Bonden.

Parade underway.

Parade underway.

Local children get to march down the street with their exhibit.

Local children get to march down the street with their exhibit.

Memories of the Bonden Festival, Sake, snow shoes and some litter.

Memories of the Bonden Festival, Sake, snow shoes and some litter.

What festivals have you attended in Japan? How were they?

16 thoughts on “Bonden Festival, Akita”

  1. whipcracker says:

    SEE no more butts about it.
    by:whipcracker

  2. whipcracker says:

    Is that a place where you get your hair cut? Looks like a barber pole to me.

  3. whipcracker says:

    1 for now 1 to drink later.
    by:whipcracker

  4. whipcracker says:

    Congrats to the winners.
    by:whipcracker

  5. whipcracker says:

    That’s the guy that was sitting in the middle of the road eating his ramen, from the other article previously posted.

  6. whipcracker says:

    Bonden Festival, Akita, Japan Photo-Post http://ow.ly/1qeQMT A fun time for the young and old. Really colorful designs, especially w.tigers.
    Do I get a special cookie for #35?
    Everything is quite colorful if I do say so. I could have made a comment on all the photos, they were that great. :)
    Have a great weekend. :)

    1. shibuya246 says:

      well picked. you got it exactly right. :)

  7. Andrea Watt says:

    I really enjoyed your photos. I could almost taste the sake and smell the nabe. Your camera does yellow and red so well!

    1. shibuya246 says:

      thanks. yes, yellow is one of my favorite colors with this camera. Back with paper prints, I used to always think Kodak was good for red, Fuji for Green, Minolta for blue. I never really saw yellow as a good photo color. With this Nikon camera the yellow is one of the standout clean colors. :)

  8. lithiumangel says:

    oohhh ! This looks like a lot of fun ! I would definitly be cheering the particpants on;especially if one’s knocked down :(

    Interesting also seeing some (older) locals armed with camera gear in some of your pictures … i’d imagine that these local Matsuri could potentially be boring and uneventful for a local who’s lived their entire lives there to capture on pictures.
    That’s how I feel about my own hometown of Amsterdam; I used to take so many pictures here in the past; but these days if I even wanted to take a single (Good) one i’d have to force myself to it .. but I suppose that’s me ! And that these Japanese people love their Matsuri no matter how many times they’ve seen it :)

    Speaking of locals capturing locals .. Meiji Jingu is really a good spot for seeing that happen; it’s unbelievable to see just how much high-end camera gears these people carry around :)

  9. Neksus says:

    Another great job.
    You are giving bad habits here ;) Now I want sake!

    Colors are something you can spot and snap like a 6th sense.

  10. Tristan says:

    I love the jackets!!

    Great photos as always Alan..love # 15 for some reason!

    1. shibuya246 says:

      :) great pic on #15. everybody was standing around laughing at these guys who were milking it a bit as well.

  11. HELLOSHEENA says:

    The tigers are my favorite.

  12. janine says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! Great photos! I want to attend a Bonden Festival ^_^

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