Matsuri! (Day 4)

By the time the last day of Matsuri came around I was exhausted!

The last event of Matsuri took place on Sunday evening. I went to Niihama and a couple of us made our way to Ikku Shrine in Downtown Niihama. This last event is also a Taiko Competition and the event in which taikos get into fights with each other.

To be quite honest by this point I was pretty tired, so I decided to go see the competition because I felt like I needed to see everything during the festival, something that I might need to reconsider if I decide to stick around for another Matsuri. The competition was super exciting! Basically the Taikodais come into the shrine and then the men lift the taikodais and the men standing on the poles that support the taikodais, start jumping up and down while trying to keep their balance. Is crazy difficult! and I still don’t knowhow they do it. That part of the event was really cool, but most people show up to Ikku Shrine to see the fights between the Taiko teams.

I personally found this extremely boring. First the members of each taiko team start shouting at each other and just try to build up the whole atmosphere for a fight. Then they move the taikodais so they face each other and after much fanfare they eventually run full speed towards each other and try to either break the taikodais (or some part of it), injure the members of the taikodais, or get on the other teamn’s taikodai and do some sort of damage. All that sounds pretty exciting in theory but for them to actually run towards each other takes forever! I must have been standing there for at lest 20-30 minutes before anything exciting actually happened, and then I couldn’t see anything because I was being crushed by the crowd! The funniest thing however was seeing all the people take out their cellphones the moment they heard that a fight would start. I wish I had taken a picture of hundreds of cellphones up in the air with their video cameras ready to capture the action. Japanese culture at its best.

Since I really couldn’t see anything, and I was falling asleep standing up I decided to call it a day and drove home, got into my pj’s and slept for 12 hours straight. Matsuri came to an end, but I definitely had the most amazing time and just as I was told they would be, those 4 days were probably the most exhausting but fun days in the last 6 months.

Keeping you posted!

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