Well, despite being sick for 6 out of my 10 days vacation, I had a pretty good Golden Week. I was able to fix my Tablet PC finally and get some painting done. So as you saw, I finished my Tojimbo painting. I also went back and retouched a couple other paintings, making a couple fairly significant changes. I updated the Nagoya castle painting, as it had some problems that had been driving me crazy ever since I saw it printed out, and I also made a few big changes to the Mikuni Ryokan painting, which also had been bothering me every time I looked at it. Here’s the updated Mikuni painting:
You can see the updated Nagoya castle in the earlier post — I just overwrote the file, as that was more of a correction than a change.
Hitomi and I continued our paintings by the river — only that turned out to be a bit of a mistake. Last time we painted those paintings, it was a very spring-like day. This week, it was very summer-like. So as we continued working on the same paintings, we essentially repainted them on top of the old paintings. It would have been smarter to start a new one… oh well. So we did start a new one eventually, but they’re not finished yet — it was a rainy day picture so we have to wait for another rainy day to continue.
We went to 2 festivals as well. One was on Saturday, at a tiny little park which was absolutely gorgeous. The other one was in the evening and night on a really rainy day, in the tiny town on Imadate nearby. The rain made it really cool, I thought, as everyone participating was a lot more hardcore — carrying an enormous many-hundred-pound carriage on their backs from shrine to shrine, drinking beer and shouting, playing taiko drums, and having a good time. At the shrine we went to, they played tug of war with the mikoshi, slipping in the mud, half of them trying to take it home, half of them trying to keep the mikoshi at their shrine… which on a sunny day would have been dangerous, but on a slippery rainy day could have been downright deadly. Eventually the wild tug of war moved to the slippery, steep stone steps of the shrine, and I was sure someone would slip and we’d hear that 20 people were crushed under a giant gold mikoshi on the evening news… but nobody was hurt, and it made it down the stairs safely. At night we went to a different shrine and watched as they removed the gods from their home in the shrine, placed them into the mikoshi, and then headed up into the mountains with red lanterns guiding the way. It was a scene right out of a Miyazaki movie or something… wild buzzing folk music, cool costumes, pouring rain, giant braziers full of burning logs, and paper lanterns everywhere… sorry Kyoto, but urban Japan has nothing on the countryside. This place is magical.
I have tons of photos, but it’s too late to post any now, and I have to go back to work in the morning. I still have a tiny cough. I really hope I don’t get any sicker again.