Aki Matsuri (Japanese autumn festival)

October 5, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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A few weeks ago — while my laptop was filled with coffee — Blake and I went to the Aki Matsuri festival which was being given by the Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association. It was held at a nearby college and I got tons of photos, but since my laptop was out of commission I couldn’t post them. Please enjoy them here now, though, better late than never.

It was a really neat festival. It was well attended and the people putting it together obviously knew what they were doing. There were a bunch of booths selling food, koi, interesting Japanese gifts and souvenirs, kimonos, frogs, more koi, sushi, tea, koi-pond equipment, and a number of other things. And all day long there were various cultural performances on several different stages: music, dancing, martial arts, tea ceremonies, whatever. About half the attendees were obviously Asian, and I was surprised at how many kids under eighteen were there seemingly without parents. There were oodles of girls walking around in kimonos who didn’t seem to have any real festival-related purpose — maybe they were attendees who owned kimonos and thought it would be fun to wear them. According to Wikipedia, Seattle is 13.2% Asian, so it probably isn’t surprising that there were as many visitors as there were.

Anyway, it was really fun. Our friends Hilton and Jocelyn met us there with their kids, and all in all it was a nice day. On to the photos!

Tiny kimono girl looking at koi

This little girl was checking out the koi.

Happy taiko drummers

This taiko drumming performance had primarily high-school-age (I think?) performers. Although they performed for about 35 minutes, they were the happiest drummers I'd ever seen! They just kept breaking into grins. It was pretty cute.

Young taiko drumming spectators

These kids lasted about fifteen minutes before they got bored and were led out by their teacher in an unquiet exodus. It was a good performance, though, and we stayed for the whole thing.

Old Japanese women writing something

You know as much as I do about this photo. I guess they were writing... something. In Japanese.

Japanese chalk or something

For some reason there was all kinds of chalking going on. Maybe that's part of the traditional festival or Japanese or something? I don't know. Amazingly, though this area was covered with teenagers all day, nobody chalked anything obscene or vulgar.

A little girl meeting Hello Kitty

A little girl meeting Hello Kitty.

Some less-little girls meeting Hello Kitty.

Some less-little girls meeting Hello Kitty.

Woman with weird finger puppets

This woman had on these weird animal finger-puppet gloves. Frankly, they were kind of creepy, but the kids seemed to like them and the woman was friendly.

Paper sign

Puget Area Paperfolding Enthusiasts Roundtable. It spells "paper." Get it?

The PAPER members showing people how to fold paper

The PAPER members showing people how to fold paper.

Hilton and Blake playing that ball-cup game.

Hilton and Blake playing that ball-cup game. You can see the much-expanded sea of chalk drawings behind them.

Some kimono girls.

Some kimono girls.

Kimono girls love Lillian!

When the kimono girls saw Lillian, they cooed over her and then stood next to her to pose for a photo. We thought they were posing so *we* could take a photo with *them*, but it soon became apparent that they wanted a photo with Lillian, the tiny celebrity! They spent about five minutes making sure each one of them got a picture with her. It was cute and hilarious.

Little girl kimono photo shoot

For a small fee you could get your photo taken all kimonoed up! It was pretty cute to see the little girls doing this.



All dolled up

This girl wasn't wearing a kimono, but I still felt exposed to Japanese culture. When I asked to take her photo she seemed kind of sheepish but was still happy to pose.

A cute kid

A cute kid.

Hilton drawing a Japanese character

Hilton paid $1 to be shown how to draw a character. (I think this one was "beauty.") After a few tries, we picked the best one and the woman mounted it on construction paper with pretty ribbon like the ones in the background.

Ukulele band

I was really eager to see this group which was listed as "ukulele band" on the program. Although they were good, I was hoping for energetic upbeat strumming and this was more... sedate. Slow repetitive Don Ho stuff with simple chord progressions. There were about fifteen people on stage, and they all seemed really happy to be there. After a few songs we sneaked out and tried not to look like jerks.

Authentic Japanese flea market

This room was billed as an "authentic Japanese flea market," though it looked pretty much like a regular flea market to me. I did pick up a spiffy blanket for $6 and duck-shaped hygrometer/thermometer for $2. The duck is cute, but he only tells the temp in celsius. =(

Seattle Japanese princesses

These girls' sashes all said "Seattle Japanese Princess" on the front. I'm not sure what lineage that implies, but they certainly had a crowd of young men around them.

Japanese princess #1

One of the princesses. She certainly looks regal!

1 Comment »

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  1. I’m loving your blog sarah! :) cute Nano and Pico! :) You make Seattle look so fun! Go to the Olympic park. It’s amazing!

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