posted on Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Matsuri time


From a westerner perspective, life in Japan seems often an alienating struggle to conform, to not stick out to repress oneself for the benefit of the 'group' one belongs to.  Whether at work or at leisure a social interaction often has an underlying tension as one tries to keep the appropriate form for any given situation and if the engrained will to fit in is not enough, a plethora of rules and etiquette, safeguard one from ever straying too far. Japan though is also a land of contrasts and this sense of efficiency and order every now and then needs to be turned on its head! One such occasion is a Matsuri festival where all rules suddenly break loose and with floats parading the streets and sake copiously flowing, Japan comes to a standstill!