after my last post about the gion matsuri parade, i realized i completely forgot to mention the textile aspects of the floats!
i'm not sure how that happened! but here are a few more photos showing more close up views.
in my opinion, the most interesting thing about the tapestries on the floats is that they were collected from far away exotic places several hundred years ago. for example, china, persia, or europe. so the floats are actually like moving museums. and, it's like these collections that the wealthy kimono merchants of the edo period (1600s-1800s) were then preserved over time, because they are still used for the floats today.
so it's a traditional japanese festival, but even traditionally, it includes textiles and tapestries (and other treasures) from other far away countries that were exotic to the japanese of the edo period.