Tag Archives: bon odori

A Twinkling, Screaming, Popping, Sparkling, Booming High Point of Summer

No, if you read the title expecting more, this unfortunately wasn’t last night’s date; It was Toki’s fireworks festival, also marking the end of the bon dances in front of Toki Station.


Above, a mother-and-child (I think) dance performance entertains early-arriving onlookers.

The sign below seems to say it’s omelette yakisoba. Anyway, it was one big, pernicious, plopping pile of noodle that oozed and begged for a shutter-clicking. Other usual-suspect temptations offered on Yatai Way ranged from frozen cucumbers on a skewer to takoyaki, yakitori, and candied apples, crêpes, and chocolate-covered bananas.


I’d think these vendors mostly manage to keep a slim physique by not eating their own confections hustling for your yen under heat-trapping awnings, setting up scaffolding from one town to the next with the greatest of efficiency.

People started grabbing viewing spots along the Toki River before sunset. In the background below is Ceratopia.


It struck me, though I may be forcing the issue like a college sophomore eager to please a professor and his/her grand, sweeping assertions (or like a professor carried away with a fanciful sense of elegance), that fireworks (especially when you try to capture them in a photo) are another example of the especially Japanese-appreciated evanescence of life, embodied in a group-beheld spectacle, like the fluttering landward paratrooping of sakura petals, or, more privately experienced, but still by all, the brief burst of a locust’s life and its inevitable ignominious but unapologetic darting death.

Flowery language, I admit. But this is flower-fire, by way of translation. And I am a certified, frustrated, never-was (but never-fired!) professor of sociolinguistic anthropologicalistic expialidocious poppycock. Class (which was never really an issue anyway) dismissed.


As a bonus, I even sniffed the faint scent of smoke drifting my way as I snapped pictures of the crackle and pop. Another quintessential fleeting floating world sensation…