Last weekend was Chibu’s first annual Dossari Matsuri, a new festival that was created to replace bunkasai (culture festival). Khoa was asked by the town hall to be the official photographer, so he was busy all day taking photos. I was acting as his “assistant” but really all I did was eat, drink, and talk with people.
Outside, many food and game booths were set up for the people of the village to enjoy. This year, the village sponsored the first annual Gourmet Contest, a cooking competition open to everyone on the island. Participants were supposed to create a dish that showcased Chibu’s local food. As you would expect, everything was made with seafood. Three groups made it to the final round of the contest and were invited to make their dish on the day of Dossari Matsuri and the people of the village would choose a winner.
^ Squid Croquette
^Deep fried squid balls
^Sazae (sea snail) Curry Bread (deep fried dough with Japanese curry in the middle)
^That’s a lot of fried food!
We paid 300 yen (about $3.70 US) for the three dishes. After eating each dish, we voted for our favorite. The Sazae Curry Bread, won the competition!
^Lots of people lined up to try the Gourmet Contest food. I was at the back of the line 😦
Inside the community center, there were many displays set up by different groups in Chibu. The kindergarten had a section filled with little art projects. Take a look:
They’re so cute! I love the Christmas origami!
The Eco Flower Club displayed their handmade flowers at the festival as well. Each flower is made out of newspaper!
^These flowers were made out of the newspaper displayed on the board.
The police officer in Chibu also had a booth set up. Khoa and I tried on beer goggles and did our best to walk in a straight line.
^I didn’t do so well…
There was also a test to see how good your reflexes are. Two of the twenty buttons light up and you have to press them as soon as possible. At the end of the test, a little print out tells you what age you are based on your reflexes. My little print out read, “24 years old,” and Khoa’s run through scored him at the young age of 20.
There was also a tuna show where fishermen displayed and cut up a tuna for the crowd. In Chibu, the local fishermen catch small tuna which are then sold and shipped live to Kyuushu, the large island south of mainland Japan. Chibu’s small tuna frolic in the warm southern waters, grow big and strong, and then one lucky fish is chosen to come back to Chibu for the tuna show. This year’s tuna weighed in at a whopping 50 kg (110lbs).
^Using a spoon to quickly make nigiri sushi
^Some already made nigiri sushi (on the left). Everyone at the show could try the freshly cut tuna for free. It was sooooo good!
^Each of these pieces were being auctioned off for 3,000 to 5,000 yen.
Khoa also displayed nine of his pictures at the festival. We were lucky to get a spot in a bright part of the hallway next to the staircase.
^The Japanese writing simply reads, “Pictures Khoa-san”
All day, people were coming up to Khoa and telling him how much they like his pictures. One of our students’ fathers liked a picture so much that he just took it off the wall at the end of the festival and emailed us later to say he had it. Khoa and I were both surprised, a little annoyed because we wanted to display the picture in our own home, but happy because someone liked the picture so much they decided to steal it (I guess there isn’t a bigger complement than that :P).
Here’s the picture that was too good not to steal:
I really like this picture, too; it’s one of my favorites. I like how there’s only one man preventing the mikoshi (portable shrine) from toppling into the ocean. If you’re wondering what’s going on in this photo, take a look at my post about Chibu’s summer festival.
Khoa and I had a great day at Chibu’s first annual Dossari Matsuri. I’m already excited for next year!