The sartorial extravaganza of Mifune Matsuri

On May 17, people in Kyoto to re-enact a Heian period tradition dressed in period costume
The sartorial extravaganza of Mifune Matsuri

Visitors to Japanese cities would be familiar with the near-absence of the country&rsquos native sartorial traditions on its modern streets. The Mifune Matsuri is a chance to authentically revisit an era in which such costumes were exquisitely elaborate and stunningly beautiful. Although the festival dates to 1928 and is sponsored by the Kurumazaki Shrine by the Oigawa River in Kyoto, it is a faithful re-enactment of an imperial boating party meant to welcome the emperor, with participants dressed in Heian Period costumes (the kimonos can have up to 12 layers) arriving on 20 vessels featuring dragons and birds on their prow (May 17 the Togetsukyo Bridge, where the festivities are best viewed, is a 4-minute walk from the Arashiyama Station

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