Team Ogi’s Boat Dance and Shishimai on Ogijima for the Last Day of the Setouchi Triennale 2016

 

Sunday was the last day of the Setouchi Triennale 2016, and of course, like a lot of days this year, it started with Meon approaching Takamatsu Sunport.

 

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The destination was Ogijima. Where else?

The first hour on the island was mostly spend having early lunch and chatting with friends, but soon, at 12.30 pm, a few dozens of people started gathering on the port:

 

Among them, the members of Team Ogi, the captains of a certain numbers of fishing boats, the members of the Group 1965 who were present that day (that’d be half of them), some residents of the island, their friends and family…

The captains had a small meeting, mostly to discuss the fact that it was pretty windy that day. Drinks were had too. And soon enough, all those people hopped on various boats.

 

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My first time on a fishing boat!

By now, you know where I’m heading. This was all about the famous Team Ogi’s Boat Dance. A “tradition” dating from 2013, when all Team Ogi’s boats take the sea and reenter the port during opening and closing days of the Triennale, in a way that emulates and honors fishermen of the past when they’d return to port with an unusual good catch. It was my first time boarding one of them. Hopefully, not my last. And yes, I know, I need a haircut.

Waiting to leave:

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Okawahara-san and Oshima-san of Team Ogi heading to their respective boats. Guest starring Shima-chan.

 

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Jean-Christophe, not unhappy to be there too.

 

 

Trying to take pictures of the flags wasn’t an easy feast with that wind… And when I could, most of the time, the reverse side would be facing me.

 

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This little girl was abandoned on the port by her dad…
(worry not, her mom, little brother and some friends were abandoned there with her too)

 

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Oshima-san is ready to go!

 

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I think I recently mentioned that one of the most respected fishermen of the island (who also happened to be the former owner of the Onba Factory building, in other terms, him allowing Onba Factory to settle down in his building was the first domino that allowed Ogijima’s revitalization the way it happened) brutally passed away last Spring. He was with us, nonetheless, in spirit.

 

And  here we go:

 

 

Unfortunately, because of the wind, the smaller boats couldn’t stay too long in the open sea as the wind was making it unsafe for the passengers (that’d be us). They’re not passenger boats after all. So, we quickly returned to the port, while the bigger boats circled around, sending off Meon in the process. Also, it was very difficult to take pictures as the boat was seriously rocking and I didn’t want to lose my camera into the sea.

 

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Here is a small video of the ride, taken by my wife. Forgive her if it’s not the best video, that’s not something she’s used to do, and she also had to take care of both kids.

 

 

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The flag I painted last summer – with 23 other people – flying high and proud (and in reverse too).

 

In the end, all went on without problem, despite of the wind making the whole thing much tamer than I can be. It was still a lot of fun, and I hope I’ll get to hop on a fishing boat again in the near future.

 

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Fujiwara-san, of Team Ogi, and our boat’s flag bearer.

 

After the end of the boat dance, the festivities were far from over. It was time for the Shishimai – or lion dance – an ubiquitous matsuri feature on Shikoku (and elsewhere in Japan too, I assume). The Ogijima shishimai almost disappeared a few years ago, but the new residents took it upon themselves to learn it and perpetuate it. More details about it in a future post, in the meantime, enjoy:

 

 

 

And to make sure the tradition perdures, the youngest generation is learning it, and performing it in public for the first time (hence a certain stiffness among the boys under the shishi):

 

 

Thank you!

 

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The boats returning to their regular mooring spot.

 

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The day was far from over…

 

 

David Billa

David was born and raised in France. After a few years in the US and then back to his home country, life led him to the shores of the Seto Inland Sea in Japan. After falling in love with the area, he decided to show its beauty and all it has to offer with this blog.

6 Responses

  1. Leonie says:

    Thanks David. We loved visiting Ogi so we appreciate your sharing this last day of festival activities!

  2. Dru says:

    Hmmm…. Looks like I may need to coordinate my next visit with the end of the festival, or the start. Do they do the same for the start and end of each season?

    Also, need to visit Bistro Iori next time.

    • Yes, one thing that visitors from faraway miss (usually because they can’t really plan ahead of time around them) are events. I got to attend a certain number this year (a thing I couldn’t three years ago, mostly because of my shitty schedule at my shitty former job back then). And there tend to be more close to opening and closing dates of each session, although there are also some at other dates.

      Concerning Team Ogi’s boat-dance, I really can’t tell you how it’s gonna be in three years.
      In 2013, if I remember correctly, there were three, one for each opening of each session.
      This year there were only two, one of the very first day of the Triennale and one for the very last day (it was mostly a question of budget, from what I understand).
      I’m sure they’ll try to have some in 2019, but it’s obviously to far ahead in the future for having any idea of how many and when.

      But generally speaking, if you could come close to opening or closing days, yes, those tend to be the days with many events.

  3. Barrel says:

    Greetings))) good vibes only and Its amazing journey, David. Just stopping to wish you good wind to the sails above Art Setouchi. Salute!

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