Dance your clothes off

Yes, if you ask I am doing laundry. Why is laundry always part of my journal? I think because when you do laundry you are somewhat captured, so it is a good time to write.

Thursday night / Friday morning we had a lot of rain. No typhoon or anything, just some big cracklin’ thunderstorms and lots of rain. I guess a lot more than I expected because my train line was shut down Friday morning. Luckily the work network got the news out and I went to the hotel where most the folks are staying and hitched a ride in a taxi. I wonder what will happen in a typhoon? The only time I’ve been in a typhoon it was over a weekend so I didn’t miss work or anything. I think it is inevitable that we’ll have one or two. This year in Japan it seems quiet.

It kept raining through Saturday. It was a good day to stay inside so I went for a walk. Of course. I finally made it to the framing shop that I had seen a couple of weekends ago. Good but not great. To frame to my standards is really expensive too, maybe over $100 per piece. That’s just too much to spend for something a little temporary. As of Saturday I was feeling stuck and started surfing the web to ship stuff here to do my own framing.

I woke this morning at 8:00 am without an alarm (Saturday I woke up at 5:40 without an alarm as well since someone from work called me. Grrrrrrr.). The sun was shining brightly, so I figured it was an excellent opportunity to get on the mamachari and check out the city. I rode south and east into some of the suburban areas. I rode down car dealer row, apparently and saw Mercedes, Jaguar, Porsche, Maserati, and Subaru! I also stumbled upon an antique store. I guess I spent too much time in antique stores in my youth to pass it up. So in I went. It was an eclectic mix as most stores are. Of course I was tempted to buy something because you always are. Nothing specific – I just had to buy something. I resisted.

While I was out riding I did decide I didn’t want to frame my photos so expensively. It just didn’t seem worth it. I decided that I’d try to find the frameless clips that just put the art between the class and some backing board. That way I could change out photos if I wanted (which I know I’ll never do but at least I have the option). Now all I had to do was find the frames, so I started heading to Loft. I forgot this weekend was The Nippon Domannaka Festival so I was in for a surprise. Here’s the official link and another link.

The Nippon Domannaka Festival appears to be a flashly, loud, dance contest. And I guess if you read the links, that’s what it is! I was on the edge of it with my bike, so I parked my bike and walked around a little. I was camera-less because Tomo has my his my little camera with him right now. I was also really hungry. I went to Loft and found some simple frameless frames! Maybe my mission would be accomplished. The simple frames were still expensive but I didn’t need mat board or glass. Happy, I was able to go home and dump the bike, eat, pick up my camera, and head for the domatsuri (Domannaka Festival).

Apparently there are 19 different venues to watch the performances but I saw them on a parade route down the main street of Nagoya. Apparently there were over 200 groups this year. I only saw a handful. Trust me, they were all quite different.

Here’s a typical group. From the street it was hard to get a good angle for photos. Most of the teams are made up of both young men and young women. There are some really good dancers and some other dancers too.

A typical domannaka group

And another typical group getting ready to start. Lots of hair and face paint.

You have to get the hair and makeup right


The dance teams are supposed to communicate with the audience as well, so there is a lot of interaction.

Interacting with the audience

But then this group formed a little group and started to change their costume.

Uh, what are they doing?

As they emerged, it was clear that traditional festival clothing was what they were going for.

My goodness, they aren't wearing much

Until the guys were dancing like this!

I don't think you could do this in a parade in the US without violating decency laws

Check out their feet. Ouch!


Of course, following this extremely energetic and youthful show, was this next act. I kid you not. I’m hoping for no clothing changes.

I don't think they are shedding clothes


Finally, there was the cult that decided to participate as well. Very strange costumes.

Is domannaka reaching cult status?


It was a good day. In the end, I got a sunburn and after vowing to save money on framing I bought a roller cutter for another $220 dollars, so my DIY savings is quicky diminishing. What the heck, I can always use the roller cutter!

I hope you enjoyed Domannaka!

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