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30 July 2009

Summer Maddness: Japan 2009...

Oh man. It's that time of year again. Where it's hotter than hell, stickier than a sauna, and the only thing on my mind is VACATION!!

But that was last year in Atlanta. This year I'm in Japan, so while the first 2/3 of that last statement apply (the humidity here is 75% on a CLEAR day sometimes), This time the only thing on my mind is 夏祭り or Summer Festivals!

What's that? Well here in Japan, like most places in the world, people needed an excuse to party. In the old days it was easy-- Shintoism being the indigenous religion that it is, guranteed its patrons would be able to party during certain times of the year with special holidays (like the one firtility festival... guess what kinda partying they were doing on that one...)

When the Chinese introduced Bhuddism to the islands, a lotta partying stopped-- Bhuddism is a strict religion, and you can't go partying willy-nilly anymore; you'll throw your chi outta whack or something. However the Japanese weren't having it for long. So someone got the idea to combine the mourning period for dead ancestors with the traditional mid-summer festival and call it O-bon.

I have an in-depth article about O-Bon that I co-wrote and edited for my magazine, RAN, in case you wanna read it. The point is, now the whole month is full of street festivals, temple carnivals, and fireworks displays. So to start things off, here's some videos I shot at the local street festical near my house and also some pix too. Enjoy!

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