The Numata Matsuri 2009

Tengu time again!

One of the “Big Three” events on my calendar has come and passed again for another year: The Numata Matsuri.


Numata Matsuri

Kinder Olympics / When Was The Last Time?

Dance Recital Madness / Dance Recital Madness: Day 2


This was my 10th year of roaming the streets of Numata for 3 days in August … with a purpose.

Maybe in Spanish "Tengusta"!

It’s basically the exact same thing every year, but somehow that’s a good thing. It’s comfort food for the senses: like an old song, holiday decorations, or finding a few slices of yesterday’s pizza still in the fridge.

It ties the year together in a way nothing else can: not even a belt comes close! … or even a really strong belt.

I can’t explain it; it just is … like the word “is“.


Things I have learned over the years:

possibly midgets or short people or something

1. These 4 girls have not grown a centimetre since my first Numata Matsuri in 1998.

2. I can always find a place to pee within 50 meters of my current position.

Takahashiba Dashi has a funny hatted entity/mascot/historical figure on top

3. I know which float represents my neighbourhood. It’s the one with the “funny wingy hat” thing.

drumming is serious business

4. I don’t let the “funny wingy hat” thing fool me. This is serious business.

5. Every year, the distance between where I am and where I want to go is populated with more people who want to talk with me … and slow down my progress.

If I’m with Mr. Badger  or Mr. Pettit, we don’t seem to move at all!

this years thing!

6. One toy will prove most popular and by the 3rd day of the festival every kid will have one. This year it was “The Frog“.

7. Beer has no affect on me at the Numata Matsuri.

let's get ready to rock!

8. The “Tengu Drummers” are amazing.

9. I take less photos and drink more beer each year … which has no affect on me.

cutting the cord is not just for doctors and horror movie psychopaths

10. The guy that cuts the ceremonial twine to open up Suga Shrine to the Dashi (floats) and Omikoshi (portable shrine things) is not a high Shinto Priest: he’s as official from the Suga Shrine neighbourhood that does a lot of planning for the Numata Matsuri. This year it was the guy that does the sound boards and mixing at the local auditorium. (I think he calls himself “Shigibom”)

11. If there are 2 nice women who want to talk to me, they will approach me at the same time from different directions … and I’ll always have a big mouthful of food in my mouth … and be standing by my girlfriend.

and it's over for another year

12. I’ll be standing under the big tree in the Suga Shrine grounds about 10 pm on August 5th next year seeing this … and holding my beer cup in my mouth while I do the tradition final clap with all the other lovers of the Numata Matsuri.

don don don … don don don … don don don … don
don don don … don don don … don don don … don
don don don… don don don … don don don … DON!


possibly former midgets or short people or something

Maybe those girls in the great outfits (at the top of the post)  do grow up … but they probably never grow out of the Numata Matsuri.

I hope not; that would be a shame.


note: you are all welcome to come next year … but you are buying my beer.

12 responses to “The Numata Matsuri 2009

  1. 2 Week's Notice

    I won’t even tell you what I thought that first photo was when I saw it as a thumbnail.

    Beers all around!!

    Didn’t you hear? Tonight drinks are on me!

  2. Ah, the festival of the big red nose. BTW who is Don???

  3. Thanks for the comments.

    2 Week’s Notice: it looks like a big dick.
    I think I’ll drink the expensive imported beers then!

    Tony: I must have lived in Japan too long, “Don” or “Ton” probably means the clap sound … if you aren’t clapping and just saying it instead.

  4. Wow. That is one seriously big Tengu! I’d give him plenty of room! That looks like a heck of a lot of fun. I dearly wish I could come for the festival next year, but I doubt that it will fall within the budget.

    -Turkish Prawn

  5. Cynical Scribble

    Wow, something with a bigger nose than Barry Manilow.

    That looks brilliant though, and the 5 year old inside me wants to bang that drum like a maniac.

  6. Yes I remember that big red face with it’s huge phallic nose. I find it quite disturbing.

  7. Thanks for the comments.

    Turkish Prawn: the sad thing about summer festivals in Japan is that they all happen in the same 3 weekends … and then it’s back to the rice fields or the Sony factories for most people. There are some amazing ones that I haven’t been lucky enough to see yet. I guess it gives me something to look forward to. (crappy rationalization to make me feel better)

    Cynical Scribble: it’s a great festival! I think everyone wants to bang the drum like a maniac!

    S. Le: you wouldn’t like driving down the mainstreet here then … it’s displayed in a big showcase all year.

  8. Enjoyed the time last When going through your photos I noticed they are almost exactly like mine 🙂 Too bad I came across this site today and not yesteday – would`ve bought you a beer for sure.

  9. jacob: I was there each night. If you were the 6′ 4″ foreign fellow walking around, I saw you. If you were Japanese, I may have missed you. hee hee!
    Thanks for leaving a comment.

  10. That was me, that was me!! The only dutchman in town that night! :)Ah shoot! Already had a feeling it was you hahah. Was standing right behind you and I think..-your wife? Pretty tall compared to my wife (5-1ft) which you probably overlooked looool. Let`s share a pint next year…it`ll be on me… Cheers, Jacob

  11. jacob: I’ll watch out for you next year.
    Where are you living?
    I’m always in Numata and like the Dutch and free beer. hee hee!

    note: you caught me with my girlfriend; she loves the Numata Matsuri since I introduced her to it 4 years ago. She’s not a local … or as local as me at least.

  12. Haha, unbelievable ne. Was just telling my wife about this happening. The beeeer is on mate! Definately wanna go back there , while walking around there I saw some interesting bars and small restaurants I sure wanna check out sometime.

    After Yokosuka, Kanagawa we now live in small Misato-machi (美里町),Saitama. 40 minutes drive from Numata. You like the dutch? lol, don`t tell me there are a few living in Numata?!?

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