Monday, November 1, 2010

Street People

Sunday was the big Ryukyu Kingdom Festival Parade in Naha Okinawa. It was also Halloween! As you can see from the photos, the nuts were out in full force.
 I can't quite understand the Japanese obsession with Samba dancing but it's taken the nation by storm. I first noticed it at a local festival when I was living up in mainland Japan about ten or so years ago. Although the festival was a "Mikoshi" parade, thats where they carry those local portable shrines on their shoulders and chant about the neighborhoods during summer festivals. That time it was a Japanese Samba group that led the parade.

While admittedly, I don't mind gawking at scantily clad women dancing in the street, I have to say that Japanese women tend to be a little small in the hip and leg area so perhaps it's my problem more than anything. I would also add that unlike up in mainland Japan, this troupe didn't end up leading the parade. Instead they took their little gig into the market. I guess they were paid to draw customers to the shopping area instead of watching the parade.
 Another phenomenon that has gotten a little crazy over on this side of the pond lately is the desire to dress up like cartoon or as the Japanese call it "manga" characters. The other thing is the obsession with maid outfits. Up in mainland Japan, "maid kissa" or maid kissaten are said to be quite popular. A maid kissaten or "coffee shop" is where the men, usually losers who couldn't get a date even if they had Bill Gates sized pockets sip coffee and gawk at all the girls dressed in French maid style outfits.
 I couldn't quite get whether the girls pictured here were doing the manga thing or the maid kissa thing.

This gal was the last to show and I thought the street sign was most appropriate for the occasion.

By the way, I will be posting pictures of the Ryukyu Kingdom festival parade a little later this week, probably this weekend so stay tuned. But just to make sure you know the real reason why I happened to be in the big city, click on the post title and it will redirect you to a story I posted for JPG Magazine a few years back. Lots of pictures there and more to come to this site later. Until then, peace!

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