Sunday, February 28, 2016

Matsuri 2016 Festival Of Japan

The Young Prince invited me to attend the Matsuri Festival Of Japan with him this weekend in Downtown Phoenix.   I had never been to one and last year he'd attended with Friends, some of whom he met up with this year there as well, but oddly he didn't totally ditch me once we arrived and spent most of his time with Gramma!  *Wow... Smiles... and yeah, mebbe he's moving thru that Teen Phase of not wanting to be around us?  LOL*

I had just assumed I'd come along as "The Wallet"... but Nope, he actually Enjoyed telling me all about the Festival, meaning of the folks dressed as Anime Characters, the Food, Music and Culture of Japan... of which he has always felt a very strong Connection and Affinity to and truly Loves.

He would Love to spend some time in Japan and since I have a Cousin whose lived there almost all of his Adult Life and has a Japanese Wife, we do have Family there with strong ties to the Country and Culture, so perhaps one day he will also be able to make a Pilgrimage to Japan?  It is certainly on this Kid's Places to go List and he has a Passionate Appreciation for the Culture.

I Confess I was not initially convinced I'd dig it as much as the Grandson does and had reservations about potentially spoiling his Fun if it just wasn't my 'Thing' and I didn't want to spend the entire day there?   But upon arriving I realized he was right, I was totally gonna have a Good Time and the People Watching was a great part of the Fun for me, everyone was so "Into" it and I just Loved that about it!

The Grandson also convinced his Uncle and Family to attend with us so they brought their youngest and it was their first Experience with a Matsuri Festival Of Japan as well, so they thoroughly Enjoyed it too.   Well, the Little One was a bit overwhelmed with Sensory Overload so they didn't stay as long as The Young Prince and I... which is also why I chose not to bring Princess T or The Man along... it can be a bit much if you're uncomfortable in huge crowds with loads of activity, sounds, sights and revelry!

There were several Stage Shows on four different Stages going on the entire Event simultaneously... Dance, Music, Poetry, Samurai, Geisha, Kimono Dressing Demonstrations, Ninja Action Theater, Kendama, Shinkendo, Karate, Kendo, CosPlay, Sword Dancing, Extreme Yo-Yo Demonstrations.  I tried to take in as many as possible and know I missed so much that we could have gone again since it was a two day Festival, but Parking and Traffic is a bit much in the Heart of the City and I didn't want to deal with that again frankly.

But I was very Glad that The Young Prince actually wanted to have his Special Festival with Family this year and just spent some side time with his Friends in attendance!   That is Huge for a Fifteen year old!  Family is very important to all of us and so when the Teens aren't so 'Family Oriented' during their Phases of Independence it can be hard on us Adults to just Roll with that.  To remember not to personalize it while waiting for them to actually choose to spend Family Time with us all again voluntarily.  I just Hate to bring a Kid, or particularly a Teen, along Under Protest, so I generally don't and have convinced The Son and Daughter-In-Law not to either... hence their two oldest were MIA.  *LOL*

You have a much more Zen Time of actually Enjoying anything if whatever Kiddos are along are there because they want to be... and not because they feel they have to be or were coerced into being there!  *Smiles*   The Little One absolutely Hates having her photo taken so Gramma has to be very respectful of her refusal... and covert to get at least one sneaked in when she's unaware!  *Winks*

Since the Festival was held in Heritage Square we had the backdrop of all the Lovely Victorian Historic Homes, including one of my Favorites, Rosson House.  My Daughter-In-Law said she could imagine me Living there... I Confess that for over four decades I Fantasized about it!  *Smiles* 

 I do remember in the early Seventies, before Revitalization of Downtown Phoenix Historic Districts, the sad state of affair of Rosson House when it was a flophouse and had endured so much abuse and neglect before the City bought it and Restored it to it's original Glory!   My Window Office on the ninth floor of a Local Bank Skyscraper, during one of my Corporate Lives, used to look down upon this Majestic Old Treasure so I got to see the Transformation take place.

And to nowadays see a once seedy part of Town totally Transformed into a place where Festivals and Festivities often take place and people feel comfortable going, well, it makes my Heart Glad, it really does.   It is always my Hope, as a Keeper Of The Past, to see all Historic Districts Locally one day be equally revitalized, Preserved and Transformed for the sake of their Communities and the Value it adds to it.   Because once History is Lost to Time, Ambivalence, Neglect or Indifference, well, hindsight is twenty-twenty.

My Favorite performances were of the Drums and of the Flutes... so I spent a great deal of time listening to those particular performances.

Drum and Flute Music just resonates with my Spirit so strongly.

Now ALL of the Food Tents had long lines... but the line to this particular one was the LONGEST... and so I have to assume that Takoyaki... fried Octopus Balls... are tasty... *Winks*... but I wasn't Game for it this day, nor was my Daughter-In-Law, whose Cambodian!  So we did laugh about her hesitancy to even split an order with me so we could try it at least once... twice if we liked it... since they eat some pretty unusual things in Cambodia!  *LOL*

The Son was actually more adventurous with the Fear Factor Food since he had no idea what that Secret Sauce and Herbal sprinkle was on his French Fries?  *Bwahahahaha!*   Look at his face before diving into it... Ha Ha Ha... but as it turned out, it was delish and he devoured the whole thing!  Humnnnn... perhaps Solina and I shouldn't have been so hesitant to try something outside of our Comfort Zones... mebbe even Fried Octopus Balls!??!?  *LOL*   The Young Prince will try it all... and the Little One refused to try any of it *smiles* so she'd have to be fed once Home and she recognized what she was eating... but I must say what we ate was delish and that Surprised me since Japanese Cuisine is not among my Favorites.

So many of the Participants in Costume were so Gracious about being Photographed for a Blog Post and gave their permission.   Alas, a few didn't turn out since I accidentally hit Video rather than Camera at one point in my Pathological Picture Taking!  *Ooops... and Le Sigh...*

What I particularly Love about Japanese Culture is the Affinity in Style for Art, Whimsy, the Fun and the Bold use of Color...  it just makes one Happy to Behold it all!

The Anything Goes in Style I can totally Relate to on a Personal Level since that is my Mantra as well.   Whether is it CosPlay or Dolly Kai Style... it is such a Fun Sense of Style and just having Fun with it and not taking anything so Seriously.

 You can only Guess that I was totally Smitten with these dangling Art Displays, which The Young Prince said he could make some for me and I'll probably take him up on that offer!   Would Love some of these dangling from the Ceiling in my Studio Spaces particularly.

And I know he'd Love to Create them since he does Origami all of the time anyway and has given me Gifts of complex Origami he's Created since he was just a Little One!

Yes it was certainly a Fun Day Out for the Family to spend Together and I was Delighted to have been Invited to attend, or I doubt I would have thought to go except to drop him off with his Friends.

And though there was a lot Tempting me to buy for myself... this day was all about The Young Prince's Passion and so I Saved the Spending Budget for him to Indulge in his Anime and Japanese Treasures he would find hard to locate in the course of a regular day out since there are a limited amount of Shops that carry The Real Deal.

I also Enjoyed the items on Display that weren't for Sale but certainly were Eyecatching!

And since it was almost Ninety Degrees this day I probably should have sprung for that Favorite Parasol on the Right with the Geisha... another Young Girl eventually did buy it and I lamented that I should have made it mine and hung it in the Art Studio for Decor later.

One thing I did not Invest in that day but certainly will in the Future is a Bonsai Garden since The Young Prince and I both Love them.   These were the ones that were for Sale... and later in the Post you'll see the ones from the Japanese Bonsai Society on Display that weren't but were jaw dropping!

I really had to give a hand to the folks dressed up in the really heavy Costumes or Animal Costumes in that heat!  They hadda be sweating bullets!

 But everyone kept in Character so these are some dedicated Souls!

It really was hard to get good Images of some of the more popular ones since they were posing with Guests non-stop.    So they also were a very Gracious and Patient group of folks that dressed up for the occasion and I liked that too!   With only a single exception declining, everyone was Okay with being Photographed.

I really like Masks so Appreciated the Work that went into Creating one such as this!

And all of the Animal Characters were a HUGE Hit with the Youngsters!

And even The Young Prince was not opposed to Gramma taking his pix this day!  Wow!  He wanted to go with me as his sidekick AND allow me to take pixs... AND Invite his Uncle and Family to join us!  *Blink Blink... was I awake or Dreaming this was actually happening?!?!  Smiles*

Yes, it was kinda a Surreal Day for sure and that made it all the more Enjoyable!

And mebbe I'll even have one of these suspended from the Art Studio Loft Ceiling someday soon when he gets around to Creating one for me...

We resisted bringing Home even a small Drum for the Musically Inclined Grandson... since that probably wouldn't have been as Appreciated by Grandpa?   *LOL*

And he took great pains in deciding what else he wanted besides his Plush Pokemon Character?

So we spent a great deal of Time perusing the miniature Art...

And he finally decided upon one of these small Bone Trinket Boxes... his was one of the Sepia Bone Square ones with Dragon Carvings...

And I'll end this Post with the Display Bonsai... we were unanimous in deciding that the Rosemary Bonsai was our ultimate Favorite, it was in Bloom and Gorgeous in a Weeping Willow kind of Styling!

You could tell by the massive trunks that some of these were quite Old... and I Loved the Moss Garden around many of them's base.

The Kiddos and I want to have a Bonsai Fairie Garden eventually.

I just Hope they're relatively easy to Care for and keep alive?  The Bonsai Trees I mean, not the Fairies... *Winks*

I was very Impressed with the massive size of the trunk on this Bougainvillea Bonsai!  It gave it that Centuries Old Appearance.

And those that are trained to lean I also liked very much too... looking windswept.

Each had it's own Character though depending upon how it was trained to grow.

And since I Love Herbs knowing I could train some to be Bonsai was pretty Exciting to me for my Herb Garden Ideas.

Well... I do Hope you've Enjoyed coming along to Matsuri Festival Of Japan with us my Friends?


Sayonara from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Wow! I can tell that was quite an experience!

  2. So enjoyed taking this festival trip with much color and sunshine...what a beautiful day---and great memories for your family. Smiles, Sandi


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