Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What a Busy Weekend!

Taiko Masala, courtesy of Brooklyn Botanical Garden
The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens hosted a a phenomenal weekend celebrating Sakura Matsuri and Japanese culture that showcased over 60 events and performances, including Taiko drumming, Okinawan pop, a Samurai drama, sushi-shaped cookies, anime stand-up comedy, and so much more!

Japan Society ran its own booth, which was maintained by some of our diligent staff members. Our payroll manager, Manuel Martinez was pleased to note that many of the adults that accompanied the younger crowd enjoyed stopping at our table, asking questions, and picking up our pamphlets. And Cynthia Sternau, our publications manager, had this to say:

"The lack of cherry blossoms and NYC's usual weekend transportation snafus didn't stop the crowds of garden lovers and Japanophiles from pouring into the BBG for the Sakura Matsuri this past weekend. Japan Society's table was located in the Osborne Garden, right off the Eastern Parkway entrance, under a nice pink tent but a bit too close to the J-Lounge's sound system (Taiko & Tap was really loud!). Our gorgeous Kuniyoshi palm cards featuring four woodblock prints from the current Gallery exhibition were much admired! In fact, compliments were paid to Japan Society's programs by many who stopped by the table, including mentions of a late night at j-CATION and Film's recent "Dangerous Women" series. In fact, it was a whole lot of fun and very good outreach to take Japan Society to Brooklyn for the weekend."

That same Sunday, children and adults celebrated Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) here at Japan Society. There were performances of Japan’s classic children’s stories Peach Boy (Momotaro) and Golden Boy (Kintaro) and also song and dance related to the festival by Theatre Arts Japan – KIDS, directed by Eriko Ogawa. The attendees of this popular event enjoyed traditional snacks and created their own samurai helmets (kabuto) and carp streamers, which are traditional Children’s Day decorations.

If you wandered through Times Square afterwards, you probably ran directly into demonstrators, who were led by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue.

The mayors and visiting atomic-bomb survivors, as well as members of nongovernmental organizations from around the world, held a 2-km march to seek the elimination of nuclear weapons ahead of a major nonproliferation review, reported The Japan Times. Calls for a nuclear-free world were also made at other events in New York, many led by Japanese campaigners who were visiting the city to have their voices heard at the five-year U.N. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference that started on Monday and will run through May 28.

No comments: