I went back to the Japanese Festival on the final Monday because there is so much to see and quite often, not enough time.
I first visited the crafts room. I took some pictures of some amazing origami:
And learned how to make a flying crane. I had a bookmark with my name written on it:
Which looks a lot like a similar picture from the Japan Fest in Houston in 2009:
There was also weaving and spinning going on in the same area and I spent a little time talking with them and taking some pics:
Having enjoyed the crafts portion of my day, I headed towards the Sumo demonstration. There were 3 retired Sumo wrestlers there to educate us more about their sport.
But first, I passed the storyteller/interactive entertainer known as the Candyman. Why you ask? Because he sculpts candy as part of his act:
At Sumo, they taught us a lot about how Sumo is done. It's about intimidation, tradition, and sometimes just plain physics. Here's two of them prior to face-off:
Sometimes it's just about forcing your opponent out of the ring. But sometimes you've just got to pick them up:
This picture is an example of what happens when two Sumo wrestlers crash into each other:
Remember how big these guys are... that's a lot of force - can be a ton of force (as in the metric measurement, not just an expression of large quantity).
And also, just remember that even though they are big and don't look like the average athlete, that doesn't mean they aren't flexible:
The great thing about this demonstration is that there was audience participation. This guy demonstrates that kids are no match:
And 3 against 1 works against even the biggest Sumo wrestler:
After a refreshing lunch of sushi, I headed back to the same area for an hour-long taiko performance. What an amazing group:
And accompanying this drumming was an unofficial side show. Located to stage right of the pavilion was this quirky woman who was definitely marching to the beat of her own drum:
Here's a few more Taiko pics:
If you ever get a chance to go to the Japanese Festival, DO. I promise you won't be disappointed and the hassles of parking in the garden neighborhood are totally worth it.