Early Summer 2006

Fushiki Fighting Floats Festival
DSC06881.JPG Laura is excited about the Fushiki Fighting Floats Festival.
DSC06886.JPG Nick is so excited that he actually joined the festival as a participant.
DSC06892.JPG The deal with the festival is, people push these floats around for a while…
DSC06898.JPG …until it finally gets to be time…
DSC06931.JPG …and they ram them into each other at high speed repeatedly.
Daimon Kite Festival/The Roof Party
DSC06934.JPG The Daimon Kite Festival was rained out this year.
DSC06936.JPG In the afternoon though,
DSC06938.JPG the rain cleared up a little,
DSC06939.JPG and we all went over to Nick and Laura's apartment
DSC06941.JPG to have a party on the roof!
DSC06942.JPG A good time was had by all.
DSC06951.JPG Late into the evening, the guitarists strummed on.
DSC06954.JPG And the flames of barbecue burned brightly.
Takaoka Deaf School Sports Day
DSC06966.JPG In this event, little kids put on capes and ran through tunnels.
DSC06969.JPG (The capes make you faster.)
DSC06971.JPG The event I participated in was a relay race to fill a bottle with water.
DSC06978.JPG I've been trying to think of a good translation for "tama-iré."
DSC06979.JPG So far, my best theory is "the game where you put little balls into a basket that isn't basketball."
DSC06980.JPG Eventually, an elementary school student stolen my camera.
DSC06981.JPG I think he said his sister is somewhere in this crowd shot.
DSC06985.JPG Some of his pictures turned out OK.
DSC06993.JPG Other shots seemed a bit off.
DSC06998.JPG Some look like the kind of thing I would shoot.
DSC07008.JPG Eventually, I got control of the camera back.
DSC07019.JPG And the sports day closed with bowing all around.
June 2nd Open Mic Night
DSC07037.JPG Adam's family came to Japan, so they decided to throw a talent show.
DSC07042.JPG Dave and Kaoru are hyped for it!
DSC07043.JPG Augie hacks out a tune.
DSC07045.JPG The crowd didn't entirely get into the death feedback loop thing, but we all appreciated his refusal to "sell out."
DSC07046.JPG Jill the Celtic.
DSC07050.JPG Everybody gets together to sing!
Fukuoka Sports Day
DSC07051.JPG Practice for sports day.
DSC07054.JPG Man, there are a lot of kids at this school.
DSC07060.JPG Ayaka lifts her knees high.
DSC07065.JPG Uh, yeah…
DSC07075.JPG He pledges to the principal that everyone will be sportsman-y and whatnot.
DSC07081.JPG This time, I got to play put-the-balls-in-in-the-basket for the red team.
DSC07082.JPG These were my balls. My team won the game!
DSC07083.JPG Here's our poster.
DSC07084.JPG The white team won the poster competition.
DSC07085.JPG The green team has what looks to be Kaneda-sensei in an alligator suit drinking green tea ("cha").
DSC07086.JPG "Friendly genie."
DSC07087.JPG "Bee Spears." I think this was a pun of some sort.
DSC07091.JPG This race was crazy, since it involved wearing dinosaur suits and balancing stuff.
DSC07093.JPG Whiplash race.
DSC07096.JPG The little kids' race.
DSC07097.JPG I don't want to talk out of turn, but I totally could have out raced these kids. It was sorrowful.
DSC07098.JPG Our MCs.
DSC07099.JPG Red team grits for the tug-o-war.
DSC07103.JPG Blue team at rest.
DSC07105.JPG Blue team heaves to!
DSC07109.JPG Rope jumping.
DSC07117.JPG The blue team's cheering demonstration.
DSC07124.JPG These guys were funny. I think.
DSC07140.JPG It wouldn't be Japan without needless cross dressing.
DSC07153.JPG Natsuki is on the whistle.
DSC07159.JPG Green team won the cheering contest in part by chugging a bottle of tea while yelling, "[Drink, drink, drink!]"
DSC07160.JPG The tire pull.
DSC07163.JPG A chicken fight. On land, 'cos they're hardcore like that.
Tonami Yotaka Festival
DSC07165.JPG Tonami was crowded for its Yotaka 'Fighting-er Floats' Festival.
DSC07185.JPG Two floats collide at high speed!
DSC07192.JPG Then they wiggle and try to bash each other.
DSC07195.JPG Afterwards, I ran into one of my students, Ômaki. We talked on the train.
Omens of Summer

This may look like a sort of meaningless shot, but actually, it relates to how when I first got here, the cokes were big and relatively cheap. I was pleased. Then later, they stopped selling these big cokes and switched to small ones. It was heart breaking. But then the next summer, it came back! It turns out, the larger coke size is a summer only promotion. This summer is my third time to see the elusive "large cokes of Fukuoka."