Daidoge Festival in To-gatta
A few weeks ago, I traveled to Zao Machi in Miyagi Prefecture with the local Tunnaha Daiko group while they performed at the Daidoge festival on June first and second in the To-gatta area. The festival was a street fair with the entire street near the local onsen being shut down. Jugglers, musicians, magicians, acrobats, comedians, and more descended on the street for two full days of performances.
The artists performed at “stages” during scheduled times, competing amongst each other for crowd attention. After each performance, many of the spectators showed their support and appreciation by paying the performers. In addition to the artists, most of the shops along the street did a brisk business in food and souvenirs.
After the first night, performers were welcomed to an after-party where each performed a little sample of their work for the other guests, talked together and ate. Though all were tired after a full day of performances, they did their best. The next day, the second day of the festival kicked off with a parade done by the local elementary school and appearances from local mascots “Zaosama” (the green guy who is based on a famous local mountain) and “Musubin Maru” (the riceball character which I think is the prefecture character).
While the weather was chilly and it rained, the crowds were still large. It was a fun two days and I look forward to seeing To-gatta again.