When summer rolls round in Japan, what normally comes to mind are fireworks, people decked out in yukata (i.e. thin cotton summer kimonos), and of course – shrine festivities, or matsuri – usually hosted by the community’s local shrine. The entire premises including the main shrine grounds will be lined-up with yatai stalls selling a random mixture of knick-knacks along with festival food like shaved ice, grilled squid, candied fruits, yakisoba, etc.; as well as game booths.
Oftentimes, the shrine hosting the affair will also organise traditional bon-odori dances performed by shrine staff (most of the time mikos) as a part of the worship rituals to local deities – a beautiful and intriguing cultural spectacle that charm not only locals but foreign visitors alike.
— アニメ「文豪ストレイドッグス」公式 (@bungosd_anime) July 7, 2018
This year, the Kanda Myojin Shrine located in Chiyada-ward in Tokyo will again be hosting the “Kanda Myojin Noryo Matsuri” . Visitors can expect the familiar hubbub of matsuri dances, traditional Taiko drum performances, as well as, yes – the food and game stalls! And since the shrine is located so near to Akihabara, the ‘haven of otaku-culture’, needless to say, some of these otaku cultures have also sipped in as part of the community’s highlights – because the Matsuri will feature a mini display of itasha!
The main anime sub-cultural highlights of the Kanda Myojin Noryo Matsuri would still be its collaboration with animated movie “Bungou Stray Dogs Dead Apple” – to commemorate the movie’s successful box office gross sales, as well as to celebrate the announcement of the TV anime series getting its third season!
Pictured in the main collaboration key visual above, the main characters of the series, Atsushi Nakajima (left) and Osamu Dazai (right), both get new illustrations featuring them in Japanese outfits – Atsushi as a traditional taiko drummer and Dazai looking sleek and stylish in a simple grey yukata.
The collaboration will take place at Myojin Café located within the Kanda Myojin Shrine’s neighbourhood and will run from 8 to 30 August 2018. Fans and customers may expect to be delighted with a line-up of specially-crafted collaboration menu (details to be released at a later date) as well as limited edition original merchandise and goods featuring the “Bungou Stray Dog Dead Apple” characters donned in summer yukata outfits in adorable SD (i.e. ‘super deformed’) formats that is signature of SD-illustrator Ren Aokita. The Kanda Myojin Noryo Matsuri even had an official twitter account set up and the adorable SD characters’ visuals are revealed in its twitter post
— 神田明神納涼祭り2018 (@myojinnouryo) July 23, 2018
Fans may like to follow more of the collaboration café updates through its Twitter account so as to not miss any details of latest news.
For the history and cultural buffs who would like to read up more about the Kanda Myojin Shrine and the integral parts it has played throughout the years in the local community, the Shrine’s official website is the recommended information source – it even has a special English site to cater for the non-Japanese fans and enthusiasts who are keen to learn about its history and culture here.