Numata Festival 2008: phlanetrosswithanh!

The following is a response to Single for a Reason‘s challenge of “Me Trying to Be You“. I’ve chosen the amazing nathaliewithanh‘s blog to emulate. If I’ve fallen short, it will be enough.


It was that time of year again. I’d seen the posters plastered everywhere: on walls, sides of buildings, and outside the insides of buildings. It was time for the yearly festival that happens every year annually.

Numata is a quiet city for 362 days a year, except for leap years when it’s quieter for an extra day. Usually the most well attended events are funerals or hospital waiting room waiting areas.

But for 3 glorious days in August, it comes alive and is lively like a living thing. It’s like one of those birds or insects that only lives for 3 days before dying, and then does it all again the next year.

So I packed my extensive camera equipment into one of my shorts’ pockets, checked my other pockets for beer money, and made the long 20 minute walk to the festivities.

No one invited me, but I went anyway.

I ran in to some of my students, that I know and teach, coming from a wifebeater convention possibly. I like the 2 in the middle because I don’t teach them yet. Their mother is single glandedly trying to re-populate Japan (the youngest sibling is missing).

On the mainstreet there were games involving turtle scooping , but check out that kid’s ear!!!

Main street was closed to traffic from 1 to 10pm. This was the real deal!

More students awkwardly posing. That little girl whacked me with the stick in her hand too! Check out Elvis in the background.

Former students off to carry a big phallic symbol around the city.

Phallic symbol previously mentioned, otherwise known as Tengu: woodland spirit and resembling most big nosed foreigners.

Another student. Garbed in festival outfit and sporting a half eaten chocolate banana. He wouldn’t share 😦

Former student and father at the front. Makers of the best cake in town. Carrying the*omikoshi of the festival. *omikoshi = portable shrine.

Then it rained. No biggie; it usually rains, so everyone is prepared or too pissed to care.

Seeking shelter from the storm, I ran across these little urchins who were very impressed with Kelly Pettit‘s “I can detach the final joint of my finger” magic trick. No global warming tricks though: beer drowned my disappointment.

Then it was back to sweaty, drunk, rain-soaked, young, nymphomaniac women carrying around not one but two phallic symbols.  Okay … the nymphomaniac part I’m not sure about … for all of them.

Then the beer kicked in and things got blurry.

Off to the Grand Finale at the Suga Shrine with the 5 invited Dashi* drumming, fluting, and triangling while the Suga Omikoshi did its last frenzied stagger around the Shrine grounds while all the onlookers tried to stay out of its uncontrollable path. *Dashi=pull around floats involving pulling and stuff.

Then it was parked back inside the Suga shrine for another year. And all the festival goers went home and dreamed of the next funeral or hospital waiting room waiting area visit.


I don’t classify myself as a “homer” when it comes to things I miss in Canada, but my adopted city’s festival is a highlight on my calendar. I’ve been to 9 so far and hopefully I make it to another 9 or more in the future. I’d seriously be distressed if I missed the Numata Matsuri.

17 responses to “Numata Festival 2008: phlanetrosswithanh!

  1. That looked like it was a lot of fun.

    That’s all I have. It just looked fun!

  2. How many people do you teach?

    And have you watched any episodes of Sasuke or Kinniku Banzuke?

  3. Seriously? Phlanetrosswithanh? I dub you phlancrack for evermore. I agree with Ervin (and that doesn’t happen much because I don’t know any Earvins)..this was fun and shows Nathaliewithanh that she can trust a petite fromage Canuck after all.

    You do totally bring on the cheese with this submission. Pig lady notwithstanding, you have gone above and beyond your usual fantabulous cheesiness.

  4. Awww thanx for giving us a peek, PR. Very awesome , VERY.

  5. Thankswithanh for this very long, out of your norm post. It therefore merits many of the qualifications that make the Nath’s blog so unique.
    Takes time, no?, to crop photos, post them, think of many clever sentences, ( not hard for you ) and so on a scale, 10 of your usual posts equal the number of images on one of hers.
    Until now.
    You tried to be her, and succeeded.

  6. phlanetrosswithanh (why do I keep wanting to put spaces between the name when I type it?)
    Once again, you have not disappointed. The grasshopperwithanh in you has grabbed the stone and run with it like the unequaled goof ball that you are.

    It is me but it is totally you. Effing brilliant! Your intro? Cheesus! I wish I had written that (still digesting the leap year bit.) The wife beater convention? Single glandedly? You know, I cannot even start to list the stuff that made me contort. You even got it down pat with the conclusion. Damn you’re good and I’m humbled, phlanetrosswithanh – sensei.

    You truly are a most remarkable man (or perhaps I like myself too much!)

    So now, feel free to sit down and write that friggin’ novel so I can finally retire on a deserted island with three favorite things!

  7. Pingback: phlanetrosswithanh is me but improved, Dammit! « nathalie with an h’s Confessional

  8. Ith think thath a newh vhersion ofh Phigh Lhatin hash jhust bheen inhvented. Ghood thingh mhost ofh theh ‘h’s ahre shilent inh ith!

  9. Awesome! What a great idea!

  10. Oh yeah…you nailed it! HAHAHAHAHA!

  11. Thanks for all the comments 🙂

    It was fun to do, but definitely longer to make than my usual shorties. I might have to do some one word blogs to recover 🙂

    Finicky Penguin: I know of what you speak, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched them. I have about 100 students who come weekly and I visit 2 kindergardens regularly. (about 600 kiddies).

  12. How could you ever emulate my sister, w/o your own brother-that-sucks?

    I recommend 1-800-BuyABrother

    C 😉

  13. Phat, whhat are you going to start next?

  14. Ok. I’m hysterical now. I was trying to read Mike D’s sentence like it was Chaucer..”ith think thath…” saying it out loud…each syllable.

    and then I get to end of comments to see, “Phat, whhat are you going to start next.”

    Oh, I am laughing because I’m supposed to be doing my oil painting which is going to be the second in my series. “Me Trying To Be You”.

    Phlanetrosswithanh has raised the bar here and I know this oil painting thing is not going to do BL justice. But, I’m going back to it right now!

  15. Looks like fun was had by all.
    What a big nose, reminds me of a dog breed, a Giant Schnauzer.

  16. Pingback: Save the Cheeseleader. Save the World. « I Am The Cheese With An h

  17. Pingback: planetross eats skewers of bones « nathalie with an h’s Confessional

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s