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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Oiran


Yesterday our Susukino festival started here in Sapporo. Last year our magic bar participated and had a barbecue stand. It was way too much work, so everyone agreed that "never again!"...

The guy in white, portraying the "husband" was apparently a famous actor (though I know barely any Japanese famous people by sight).

This year I changed into a yukata and walked over to take a look at the other stalls in the streets, and see some of the events going on. I arrived just in time for the "oiran parade". Oiran (花魁) were Japanese high level courtesans. The oiran parade of the festival were two women selected because of their beauty and walking abilities in oiran clothes, if I understood the announces correctly. There were also people portraying "the husband", helper girls, and other roles.

Ladies in waiting, or something like that

The clothes seemed fairly inconvenient. Really high wooden clogs, very many layered kimono, and an enormous kimono belt. The walking style was also very peculiar, with large sweeping leg motions. The procession progressed very very slowly.

Very high clogs, very many layers of kimono, and a huge belt

Lots of people were gather to watch and take photos, so it was difficult to get good pictures.

After they had passed me, I went around looking at the food stalls. One place served Turkish shishkebab, so I sat down there. It turned out to be in the same group of restaurants as an Italian place I often go, so they recognized me there.

Shishkebab
Pork tongue

I also kept running into customers from our magic bar. Some of them told me that our boss in the magic bar was also drinking at some other place, though it took me over an hour before I found him (since he also kept moving around).

One more oiran

3 comments:

  1. Hi Jonas!!!! I just arrive to Sapporo few days ago and I miss all this festival. Please, can you advise me some page where I can check all information about Sapporo? I have many docs but everything is in Japanese :( Sadly, I'm no able to read Japanese. :(
    Thank you very much in advance!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I do not keep up with events in Sapporo that well myself, but there are many many web sites for tourists, and some of them have English versions too. I usually read the Japanese pages, since the information is better there, but this one is pretty good in English too, I think:

      http://www.welcome.city.sapporo.jp/english/events.html

      If this is your first time living in Japan, another good web site is the Japanese Meteorological Agency's site. There you can find information on all the earthquakes that happen, the typhoons (hurricanes) that will hit Japan, and any tsunami warnings. And they have an English version.

      Earthquakes: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/
      Typhoons: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/typh/
      Tsunamis: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/

      If you are staying more than a few months, learning Japanese is very good though. You can live here without learning Japanese, but if you know Japanese your daily life will be much easier.

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  2. Thank you very much!!!!!! I will check it!!!
    I will stay in Sapporo only 6 months but I'm trying to learn some Japanese by myself. :)

    Arigato!!!!

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