Snow Festival starts on Thursday! Yeah! And just like last year Jesi managed to get a space for a small snow statue, and I went along to help out.
The small "citizens statues" are open to Sapporo residents but you have to enter a lottery to get a place. Jesi entered and got one of the 150 small blocks for the second time in two years! Way to go Jesi! This year she's making a tribute to the trash-ninjas of Sapporo. The trash-ninjas (as we call them) are a bunch of guys who dress up in old-fashioned clothes and go around town picking up litter and tossing it into bags on their backs and doing backflips and singing and dancing and stuff. They're on about the 11th level of awesome, so someone needed to pay tribute to them. In Jesi's statue there's a ninja and two samurai (what's the plural of samurai? samurais? samuraises?) around Sapporo's iconic TV Tower and bin at the bottom. She's still got one day to go, but it's looking good so far.
This year I worked on it a lot more than I did last year, meaning that I froze my ass off for longer than last year. It was really satisfying and rewarding though, and getting all bundled up and hacking away at a big lump of ice and snow with an axe seems like a great way to spend a weekend anyway. Jesi had a plan, and hers is looking way better than a lot of them, but some people - even though they're just regular Sapporo citizens - take it very seriously:
I think I saw those guys making a similarly perfect castle last year too. There are arsenals of tools laid out around some of them, and huge teams of people all chipping in all over the place. And when it comes to the big ones:
There are lots and lots of soldiers.