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Float covers (Doukake)

Float covers (Doukake)
The crimson and gold colors of the 'doukake' float covers and 'mizuhiki' ceremonial strings, striking one's eyes, are celebrating the coming of the summer in Kyoto.
When the sounds 'Kon-kon, chiki-chin', describing the start of Gion festival, are spreading into the town, finally it is the time for the summer grand public performance of Kyoto. The main festival role is played by the 'Yamaboko' floats, displaying their luxury and gorgeous silhouettes, richly decorated by valuable handicrafts' textile works. The variety of hanging textile outfits, 'dressing' each float, are remarkably striking the eyes. The front part of the float is covered by 'maekake' front cloth, its left and right sides are covered by 'doukake' covers, the back side - with 'mioku' seeing off cloth, while the most upper part is decorated with 'mizuhiki' ceremonial strings and all of these decorations are works of art with their own history. Persian carpets, 16th century's tapestry from Flanders' (Belgium), rugs from Ming period in China and textile works from Nishijin in Kyoto are crossing the borders of time and space to transform the floats into remarkable pieces. With their elaborate metal fittings in the ceilings, etc. the festival floats are essentially real moving art museums.

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