My home town is located in the Harima-nada open sea, which is the sea area in the east part of the Seto-naikai inland sea. It lies south of the southwestern part of Hyogo Prefecture (old Harima country).
The people become excited and lively for the autumn festival in October. Nada no Kenka Matsuri is especially the popular name for a festival held in the town of Shirahama, Himeji City. It came to be called by this name, Kenka Matsuri or ‘Fighting Festival’ because the mikoshi (portable shrines) are jolted against one another when carried onthe shoulders of the men in the parade.
My home town, Mitsu-cho, is located in the west end of the open sea. Our festival is not so aggressive as the Nada no Kenka Matsuri. The highlight of this festival is Yatai-neri, the parade of “yatai”, festival floats, gorgeously decorated with wood carving, gold and silver handiwork and embroidered curtains.
The yatai are carried on the shoulders of men and are surrounded by the men holding “shide” (bamboo poles decorated with colorful paper) in their hand.
The festival always cheers me up. The men carried a Yatai on their shoulder. I used to join and carry the Yatai on my shoulder when I was a young boy. I still clearly remember the shout of encouragement of our district. Shouts slightly vary from district to district. The festival is as same as rock music concert for me. The drum’s (taiko) beating sounds always make me excited.
I was born here and I grew up until my 18th age. And, I am living here now.