Sunday, July 31, 2016

Festival and Butts

All of these men are wearing loincloths, and here, you can see many many butts.
We went to see the Hakata Yamakasa festival, which involves teams of men parading with heavy colourful floats while getting soaked with water.
Hundreds of years old, this tradition was originally staged to rid the town of epidemics, by spraying everyone with holy water.
The young don't carry the floats, but they get the same outfits.
The very young can wear diapers under their loincloths.
It's fun for the whole family (except women. They can't take part).
In addition to the loincloth/wedgie, you get split-toe boots, a carry-rope, a role-indicating headband, and a clan-denoted wrap-shirt.
Team members take turns bearing the weight of the 1 tonne float with 6 guys on it.
The floatmasters use their red sticks to direct the float carriers based on their headbands.
When your turn is up, you exit underneath all the fun, trying not to be trampled.
You loop your rope around the float to help carry it. When not in use, you conveniently tuck the rope into your loincloth.
You need to be careful to not get knocked out by the posts or the other carriers.
This is all happening at a jogging pace, while buckets of water are thrown at everyone.
In the back, it's more of a duck and push effort.
Back in the 1800s, the floats were taller, but had to be shrunk with the advent of power lines and safety.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Hells of Beppu and Spacy Fride Chicken

Beppu, Japan is a strange and creepy place. It's fizzly and steamy everywhere.
We went to the 10 Hells of Beppu, where Barry would like you to know that he wore the right t-shirt.
The hells come in red, brown, grey, blue, and some with unnecessary caged animals.
My favourite part is bubbling mud. After a while, you can see the diabolical forms emerging from the hells.
 Oh, and there was Engrish too. In fact, there was quadruple Engrish! Spacy!