2007-08-20

Earth Celebration - Weather

As I mentioned in the last post, if I am able to return to the Earth Celebration next year, I would really like to participate in some of the workshops. Otherwise, the options seem to be somewhat limited. Our options were even further limited on the first day because of the weather. After two or three weeks of very hot weather and blue skies, it decided to rain on Friday morning and afternoon on Sado Island.

We had heard rumors of the possibility of such weather, but the only preparations we had made were two umbrellas. This might have been sufficient, except for two problems. First problem: both the fringe event and the evening Kodo concert were outdoors and seating was on the ground, which became wet, of course, after it rained. Second problem: umbrellas were not allowed at the evening's concert because they block the view of other audience members. (Keep this in mind, if you ever have a chance to go). So we were expecting to watch the concert sitting on wet grass while being soaked by the rain.

I also mentioned in my previous post that we had miscalculated our budget by forgetting about $80 worth of fares and fees. As soon as we arrived in Ogi, we sat down and wrote down everything we still needed to buy (meal, parking, hotel, etc.). We had just barely enough, as long as we didn't eat to fancy, or do any of the touristy things, like boat rides and such. We set aside about $20 in an emergency fund because we were not sure if we had enough gas to get home or not. Anyway, we decided that sitting in the mud and getting soaked while watching the concert was enough of an emergency to dip into the $20 and get some rain coats. As it turns out, we were not the only ones unprepared for the weather. Of course many of the other guests had not expected rain and were buying raincoats, but the shop owners in Ogi were also ill prepared and had not stocked up on coats. They were quickly selling out. The first three or four stores we went to had just sold their last ones. Luckily we found a little shop that still had some and we bought their last two. We were relieved to know that we wouldn't get completely soaked for the concert.

A little side story, as we were leaving the shop where we got the raincoats, I saw something moving on the floor. At first I thought it was an enormous spider. Japan, being a semi-tropical country, large insects and such are not uncommon. It turned out to be a little crab. This section of the town was quite a ways from the coast and the shop keeper was about as surprised as we were to see it. She shooed it out of her shop with a little broom.

How does this story end? It rained on and off just about up until about 5:30, when they began seating people for the concert. After that, it didn't rain again that evening. Our raincoats ended up being a barrier between our bottoms and the soggy grass. The grass was actually not even that wet and we were able to enjoy the concert fairly comfortably.

Here some unedited video of the Okinawa dance and music performance at the fringe festival. I apologize for the poor vantage point. I'm not sure if you can tell from the video, but there was quite a steady stream of rain coming down. We were sitting under a tent to stay dry. Unfortunately it was situated to the side, and somewhat behind it.



Again, I will close with some pictures.

The Audience at the Fringe event trying to stay dry.

Okinawan dancers performing at the Fringe event in the rain.

Waiting in line at Kisaki Jinja to go up the hill to Shiroyama Koen (Park), where Kodo would perform that evening.

The stage at Shiroyama Koen before the concert.

1 comment:

Jim said...

This makes for interesting reading, Brian, whether one is interesting in "banging the skins" or not!

Your descriptions of these festivals remind me of the flea market we visited in Kanazawa in 2001. I may need to invite myself over soon.

 
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