Ahhh, Nebuta, one of the first truly strange events in my early childhood, along with all the other horribly warped and surreal events surrounding that selfsame childhood. Yet, Friday night was my first time to crossover from spectator-hood to full-fledged “hopper." I have become a man. Please observe my classless presentation of the classy attire in which the Nebuta hop is performed.
I was one of about fifty-plus Aomori JETs invited by the prefecture to participate in what appeared to be the "tourist participation sector" of the parade. This section was primarily made up of JETs, rowdy out-of-town J-youths, and young families. The photo above was taken during the recovery phase of the evening. Notice I have lost the straw sandals, but the lameness has not yet fully set in. The initial recovery phase following the 2.5 km hop included the rapid consumption of 1.5 litres of Pocari Sweat (please view the second link with extreme discretion--for educational purposes only). The secondary recovery phase is still ongoing two days after the fact, and currently consists of my sitting on my rump all day. For more photos and descriptions of Aomori Nebuta, JET version, please check out the links to other Aomori JETs in the right margin of this page. I would especially recommend the other Luke’s entry for August 7th. Or, you can check out one version of Nebuta background information here. Due to inconsistencies between the many accounts of the Nebuta tradition, I will be publishing my own Nebuta mythology in time for next year’s festivities. I see here a huge opportunity for poetic license.