Summer is ending, and the season of summer festivals is coming to an end. One of the world’s greatest festivals is the Nebuta Festival in Aomori, at the northern tip of the main island of Japan. When I was in school in Japan, all the students went to the festival, but I was sick and had to stay behind. It is one of my greatest regrets that I missed the spectacle, and I am determined that one day I will travel to see it. And again this year, I missed my chance, the festival was a month ago.
But for some people, when summer ends and the festival is over, preparations for next year are just beginning. This video from NHK Newsworld (in English, 3min 24sec), shows a “nebuta-shi,” the artist that makes the grand Nebuta floats, as he assembles and paints his work, taking a full year from concept to final execution.
Nebuta are quite unique, they are gigantic paper paintings draped over a wood and wire sculptural frame, and illuminated from the inside. The translucent paper is painted in opaque black ink and bright watercolors, the light shines out from within, creating a bright, dramatic visual effect against the night sky. Click on the image below to see how the Nebuta are constructed, painted, and presented at the festival.
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