Although I promised to write about Yarra Valley last week, a few days ago, I stumbled on my Japanese friends' summer festival photos on Facebook that took me back to my days in Aomori, Japan. If you had missed my sponsored traveling days in Japan, you might want to hit the subscribe button on the right side of this blog to not miss anything else.

In short, I was given the privilege by the Tohoku ministry of tourism to explore Japan for a week. In my days in Aomori, I was given more privileges to thoroughly explore a few museums that showcases Japanese's traditions of summer festivals. I am not talking about hot and steamy beach summer festivals. In Japan, they do it in a totally different manner!
The many faces of Neputa.
Held once a year, summer festivals in Japan would involve traditional cultures. Such as the Nebuta Matsuri or the Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival. These two summer festivals had one similarities: giant figures being paraded across the town. 

These giant figures are made every once a year to be competed against one another. Each artists would pour their heart and soul into this figure to create the best one to be paraded across town.
A Neputa giant figure.
A 22 meters tall Tachineputa figure from previous celebrations.
Since each one would weigh up to 4 tons, these giant figures would be carried by up to 50 people. Each figures would carry a different story. One thing in common in every stories is that the good always defeats the bad. That is why these figures are always made with scary faces to ward off evil spirits. 

I was lucky enough to be given a special entrance to a Tachineputa workshop. Inside the workshop, each artists were only given one task, which is to turn a sketch into a real size figure. 
It all started from these designs.
Putting papers on the skeleton.
Although I wasn't given the chance to try working on a real Tachineputa, I was given a chance to draw scary faces on a clay model. It was still very fun to do. I am not going to lie to you, I suck at it.
In the process of making scary faces of Tachineputa.
I failed. Big time.
Upon further research, I found an interesting video about this summer festival. This video is about Goshogawara Tachineputa Festival where these tall-giant figures would be paraded all over the city. If you're interested to know how it goes, take a look at this video and tell me what you think about this festival by leaving comments on this post.

In case you missed it, here's more of my trip to Japan with Tohoku Ministry of Tourism:

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