Dashi Matsuri prep work 2010

Once every two years Shibukawa holds a giant Dashi (float) parade. Last year I just sorta joined in. This year I am doing it right as a member of the Shimogo community. Besides I reckon it will be more rewarding if I put my sweat and effort into the preparation for the event.


workman more reward
making my mark old boxes
our hats obachan

I liked how all the men were outside doing physical labour while the women were inside doing more delicate work and cooking for the men. Traditions can be cool too :p


At the end of it all I felt like someone was going to bring out a crate of Carling Black Label.


Shots #16 Rabobi!

Well not quite… but if this monster vreets me I will probably become Rabobi!Ingozi! Yanga iRabobi!

iUppacut 1time! iSpidasense ees Tingling



Shibukawa Bellybutton Festival.


Shibukawa is right in the middle of Japan and thus it has been dubbed the Bellybutton of Japan. We like to celebrate this once a year!

Japan doesn’t really need much of an excuse for a festival. Just about every machi has some sort of mikoshi moving or firework exploding shindiggery to celebrate whatever it is the town is famous for.


In Shibs, we celebrate that scar we often forget in the middle of our abdomens.

The idea is simple. Paint faces on your belly and parade them around in the street…

In your FACE!

They close off the central  intersection in town and line the street with stalls that contain various festival foods and games as well. Its a big party in the streets.

shibukawa festivities

It was particularly entertaining for me because It is essentially in the feeder area for my school so a large proportion of the kids were either my students or my ex students or related to my students (and therefore knew all about the legendary Daruku-sensei) so I couldn’t go more than 3 metres without being stopped and chatted to.

ex students

On the Saturday I was going to join in the parade again like I did last year but after we got ourselves all painted up and fuelled up on the beer boosters, Spartacus killed Theocles and the heavens wept.

the brave gaijin force

While those of us in the parade couldn’t have given two shits in a sand basket, the powers that be saw fit to cancel the parade… BASTARDS!

No worries. We will have another chance next year :D


Drifting in the Mountains

Jen had some couch surfers over from Sweden and one of them had a particular love for drift and touge driving. After Jen told me how they planned to see real life mountain drifting I decided that I would rather take them instead. After all. It IS my scene here :p.

Anyway enjoy this short clip of what Gunma nightlife is REALLY about!


HYENAS! (this is a rant :D)

I went to Tokyo to spend time with Michelle. She wanted to go to get tour goods at some revival thingamabobby for half of a Korean ladyboy band. Don’t really know, don’t really care.
I actually have been writing this post for a week because every time I spend more than 5 minutes thinking about how un-believably stupid these chicks are it gets my blood-a-boiling.
So I am just going to put up the pics… you can then take everything I have ever said about dumb hormone fuelled women who obsess over the image bands create (and think they actually like the music), and multiply it by as many of those sad women you can see in these pictures.
Even Michelle was transformed from a fun, likable, friendly person into a mindless obsessed frothing fan girl zombie by the time she had made it to the end of the 1.5 km long line.
thankfully the condition is not permanent… A sub and a trip to Harajuku later and she was back to her usual fun to be with self… but for a moment there, I was genuinely scared.
Now don’t get me wrong.. if the music was the driving force behind the mob that would be different. but I know true music fans… they won’t queue up like that to trinkets with band member’s faces plastered all over them. tickets or entry to events… yes.. but f@cking cell phone straps and pillow cases. COME ON!

the blood-be-a-boiling again… time to stop.

They should make dildos with these pop boys faces on them. Its the only action these girls are going to get. which is sad.. because many of them are damn fine

at least there are many other fine women that don’t live in TV drama dreamy dream land. Speaking of which… I need to send off a text message.

one last thought… this is really the 6th draft and nicest way i could put this post…


Shots #15 flashback!


This was me almost 2 years ago. Yes. I know. Its hard to believe.



Shots #13 Bridge Over Troubled Waters


Where the Agatsuma Line spans the Mighty Tone River


Shots #12 Every Cloud has a Silver Lining.

greay skies


the rainy season has some pretty skies :D


Shots #11 But is it Art?



The art club does things like this to pass the time. They occasionally make art too ;)