Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sakura Matsuri Redux

Sakura Matsuri was a perfect and brief introduction to spring. The sun was out and the weather held out for the massive crowds the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was soon expecting.

Whether it was the programming or the ultimate end to cabin fever, people attended in droves. The grass was covered in a sea of people enjoying the beauty of recently bloomed cherry blossoms amongst friends and other Japanophiles. And if you were old enough, you could enjoy the flowers in true Japanese fashion: lying on the grass with a bottle of sake to share.

Providing a mixture between old and new, Sakura Matusri’s programming featured everything from Taiko Drumming to Butoh Dancing to Swordfighting skits to anime-focused comedians to a cosplay fashion show as the festival's closing number.

This of course attracted all forms of people interested in Japan.
Cosplayers are a vast-growing group that New York has no choice but to pay attention nowadays. Thankfully the Brooklyn Botanical Garden has listened and created a “J-lounge area” for anyone interested in the more kawaii and anime-centric side – while at the same time introduce a new generation to the more cultural aspects of Japan.

They had even included an event for Lolitas to strut their stuff on the runway. The parade that followed felt a bit unbalanced with abundance of Sweet Lolitas, but perhaps that's what happens when the sun comes out. The urge to wear color is hypnotically suggestive.

The whole weekend was overwhelming with people, beautiful scenery, and pep-filled programming. I was unable to get a glimpse of alot of the programming, but I was able to take a few photos. Here are the best of the lot. 

Brooklyn GO Club

Trying a hand at Sudoku and Kakuro

Ikebana displays

Did you attend Sakura Matsuri in New York this year? I would love to hear about your experience!

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