Thursday, 24 November 2016

450th Anniversary of Gifu, under the sign of Nobunaga!

It's not a mystery that Gifu city is doing some intense job with the promotion of this important anniversary of its foundation; 2017 is going to be the "Year of Nobunaga" in this sense, as our favourite warlord was appointed as the star of the celebrations to come.
I decided that this blog will follow the celebrations of the 450th Anniversary of Gifu, then, as I find it extremely relevant to our interest, and investigate the various activities involved(according to our possibilities, given distance and language barriers!).
So, in this first "chapter" of the celebrations, I'm going to indulge in the so-called "pre-events", special promotional events starting before 2017, and present you the first upcoming proper events of the year, according to the guidebook :)

So, let's start with the pre-events happened during summer, then.
One of the most peculiar involves the phone-game Ketai Kunitori Kessen, a kind of interactive "stamp rally" made through smartphones where you can collect "medals" according to the spots of Sengoku interest, and access special minigames and the like.
On July through October 2016, there was a special "Nobunaga Course" set in Gifu, focused on the main attractions of the city, from the golden statue of Nobunaga to the Museum of Nagarakawa passing through Gifu Castel.
It's really interesting to see how modern technology can be a source for historical investigation.
This kind of tourism in quite strong in Japan, and it's really popular, surpassing the fields of mere scholarism. Getting to know history by "touching" the reality of some places seemed to be a luxury reserved to archaelogists alones, but it's very reassuring to think that your average everyone can indulge in such cultural adventures.

Speaking of history "turning into reality", the Commitee for the celebrations really overdid things, and for this year they gathered together the three Bushotai of Gifu in a creative collaboration to animate and cheer up the historical spots of interests.
The three involved groups are Gifu-jo Moriage-tai (love their Dosan!), Gifu Bushotai Shingi Tesshin and Gifu Omotenashi Shuudan Kyouen-tai.
For a complete schedule, monthly updated, of the activities of the three groups, feel free to check out their pages on the official website of the anniversary.

I found quite fun the fact that a special committe composed of students of the Gifu City Women's College was "hired" with the serious task to evaluate the quality of the omiyage selling during the event.
Since the local souvenirs are cakes and sweets of course the best judges would be young girls, ahah.
The event looked both fun and solemn though, I believe those girls took their task quite seriously, expecially because they were under the keen eye of the Nobunaga of the bushotai!

In these day it was also possible to buy the New Years Cards dedicated to the event.
Above you can witness the line to get them at the MediaCosmos :) They feature the artworks of the celebration for the 450 anniversary, and they are dedicated to the Year of the Rooster (which is, incidentally, MY CHINESE ZODIAC SIGN ;_; Won't you get me any, dear reader..? Ne? Ne∼ ..?)
Unfortunately one can get these only at the key-spots of Gifu!

We can't leave anime and videogames out of this of course!
A series of cute events that will be hold in Gifu castle involve the very cute anime Nobunaga no Shinobi, focused on the adventures of the clueless yet lethal Iga ninja Chidori, servicing Nobunaga faithfully. As the short anime is of course a parody filled with fun moments, it also offers some interesting historical insights (I was pretty much startled by the appearance of Gyuichi Ota in it, interviewing Chidori about her deeds during Okehazama!), so it was chosen to sponsor the anniversary and Gifu castle.
There are two events planned: from November to December, a sort of hide and seek with Chidori, where visitors are asked to "find" a cardboard of Chidori "hiding" in the castle museum to get a cute souvenir in return, and from January to March, the chance to meet the seiyuu of Chidori, insanely cute Inori Minase, and get a poster of the anime signed by her.
There are just 30 spots free each month, so it's quite rough!

And, ending this report with one of the first events tied with the celebrations and popculture... From January to March, the grounds of mount Kinka, will feature an exhibition of Sengoku Musou cardboards featuring Nobunaga and his crew :)
This is not the first event of this kind (the picture above refers to a similar event in Hikone), featuring the heroes of the popular videogame.
The guide book says that some exclusive merchandising will be available at the exhibition, so it may be worth a visit, for the Nobunaga fans out there who happen to be otaku gamers too!

It's all for this first report of the "Nobu Year", see you again once the celebrations will officially start and we'll start getting juicy reports from the net :D !

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