Slightly Off-Topic: A Day Trip To Japan…Sort Of
Contrary to popular belief, puroresu is not quite a 24/7 thing for me-I do have a life outside of it although I do spend a good portion of my free time (non-work/sleep/games) checking news, results, etc. but I’m a fan of almost all things Japan-not just puroresu, idols, and the like. Actually, puro is one of just a couple things you don’t see at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC and perhaps it’s signature event which was today-the Sakura Matsuri, the largest Japanese Street Festival in the USA, stretching 6+ blocks through downtown Washington. I revived my annual tradition of attending the Sakura Matsuri today and happened to take a lot of photos, and to show that I do have a life among other things I’m posting a link to the albums below (it’s a work in progress, when it’s done I’ll have around 400 total photos):
PS-it’ll ask for a password. The password is gaijin.
If you’re wondering about the performers the sub-albums feature…
Nen Daiko is a taiko drum group based at an Ekoji Buddhist Temple in northern Virginia. They perform both locally and nationwide and are frequent performers at the Cherry Blossom Festival, on average I see them twice during each festival. Besides being entertaining, their performances also help their members further themselves both personally and spiritually. For more about them, visit their official website, nendaiko.org.
Reni Mimura is a J-Pop singer/dancer who performs a style popularized in modern Tokyo that incorporates cosplay and dance. She is originally from Japan but in the mid-2000s she relocated to New York City to further spread the Akibahara style of dance & music throughout the US. She performs primarily in the northeast US but in other parts of the nation as well (I believe this was her 2nd Sakura Matsuri performance, she was here last year) and lovingly refers to her fans as her “angels”-she really loves her fans and all the support she draws from them. She’s quite cute, as are her dancers who perform with her, but she’s also very sweet and caring-today at the end of her show she led the crowd in a passionate & emotional show of support and encouragement for the victims of the Japan earthquakes, and she also recognized fans who celebrated April birthdays by inviting them onto the stage to perform briefly with her. And like countless other J-Pop idols I like, she has such a beautiful singing voice. For everything Reni and then some, visit her official website, renireni.com. She has also released one album in the US, you can get it on her website or on iTunes (there are 2 versions of it).
Tamagawa University Taiko Drum & Dance Troupe is a popular taiko drum & dance troupe fom Tamagawa University in Japan. The group is made up entirely of university students-the male members perform the taiko drums while the female members perform dance routines. Tours like this one (one of a number they’ve made to DC, this is roughly the 3rd time I’ve seen them) are actually part of their curriculum.
The other photos are from other groups I saw briefly or various other sites & sounds at the festival-and smells too with all that food! One question though-if this is a Japanese festival, why were there so gosh darn many Thai food vendors? They seriously outnumbered Japanese vendors! No offense intended, I just found that very odd. And no, that McDonald’s booth didn’t have any actual food. Just a handbag giveaway.
All in all I had a wonderful time as usual and already can’t wait until next year’s event, plus next year is the 100th Cherry Blossom Festival so that’s a can’t-miss!