|Some of my Matsuri spoils: program, "Good Health" fan, |
and black lucky cat for good health (left paw for happiness).
Matsuri is the Japanese word for festival or holiday. Ergo, the Arizona Matsuri is a festival celebrating Japanese culture. They pack the Heritage & Science Park in downtown Phoenix with booths that sell Japanese items (books, jewelry, toys, art) and cuisine, and feature Japanese hobbies (calligraphy, bonsai) and organizations. They also have performers and shows, like swordsmanship and cosplay and ongoing rounds of taiko drummers. You can watch a master candy maker craft sugar sculptures, get calligraphy on a fan, pet some cute dogs, get a beer in the beer garden (if you're old enough ;), and have a generally good time.
|One of the many bonzai trees on display.|
|Danbo from Yotsuba&! XD|
This makes my third year in attendance (I unfortunately have yet to see the opening ceremony, though). I purchased my annual origami fish (three this year - I always buy one more than the last year), and my fan (this year: "good health"). I found some sakura chopsticks at a flea market, a few half-priced manga for my overflowing collection, and finally purchased myself a lucky cat! It's black, which is for health (or so they said), and a left paw for happiness.
|This little girl kept dancing along |
with the taiko drums. So cute!
If you ever get the chance, definitely attend the Arizona Matsuri, held the last weekend in February. It's a lot of fun, usually a relatively gorgeous day, and who can beat free admission?
I include this awesome video of the "dueling taiko drummers" (or that's what I call them) for your enjoyment (the drummers are awesome - not my crummy video skills). You have to wonder how many pairs of glasses they broke before perfecting it.