Bebe Taian: Haru Matsuri no Asobi

March 27, 2012

Haru Matsuri no Asobi

USF's Japanese Club invited me to their Haru Matsuri gathering. It was so much fun!

Even though it was a relatively small event, I liked the gathering. It was big enough to be fun and exciting, and small enough to not be overwhelming and too fast-paced. And I got to wear my rabbit yukata for the first time!

There were about a dozen booths or so, not including things like food-related stuffs, including Otani-sensei's calligraphy booth, the "Tanabata" wish tree booth (a paper 'tree' that you could tack pieces of paper containing the script of your wish onto), the Consulate booth with visitors from Miami, the tourism booth (who I believe sold sheets of stamps unavailable in the US!), and so, so many more awesome people who showed up to vend, demonstrate, or otherwise help out.

I think I put more work into it than needed to be, but even so, I feel good about the preparations I did have time to make with all of the recent daily 'surprises' current conditions have brought. I wasn't able to fully finish my stack of koshi himo, but I was at least able to get about half a dozen sewn, if not turned yet. That helped a lot when it came time to dress people! I still need to finish all of them, but I'll get to it, in time. They are not needed *right now*. I had a few yukata that I was able to bring, and even though I didn't manage to retrieve the yellow pre-tied obi for the child's yukata, I ended up not dressing anyone that young, anyways. I really do need to get some LL size yukata for demonstrations, however, and more men's items. I'm a little surprised at how many requests for men's kimono that I get! Which of course, means that I need to learn how to tie one properly. Thanks to E, who brought her own supply of women's and men's kimono in American sizes! It was only because of her and the two volunteers who helped dress people that the try-on booth was a success! I did have some larger, slightly more formal kimono ready for wearing, such as my cotton/hemp blend komon, but I think it was much too hot for that. x.x

My own sales booth I think was nice to look at, but wasn't particularly suited to the venue. I was happy to sell a few cell phone charms and a yellow/red hakoseko, though! And I sold off the last one-off Swarovski decorative comb. <3 I think many items were too high-priced for that space. But mostly, I'm glad I went- even if I hadn't sold a single thing, it was great to meet all the new people and see some of the events. I even got to meet a Japanese Consulate representative! I missed the judo club performance this time, but the speech contest was interesting! Two professional Japanese soccer players were judges, and the students from each level... actually, there weren't very many entries, but I'd have been terrified to be in their place. I'm good at one-on-one things, but speeches and being on stage just aren't my thing outside of my imagination. :P In reality, I freeze up and my joints turn to liquid! There was one woman in particular who really sounded like a native. I was so impressed!

Towards the end, a few more people showed up. In some places, the festival was written to be lasting until 5pm. But because certain segments (such as the cosplay portion) ended up being much shorter, the festival ended at 4pm. Also, around 3:30, we started getting that super-light sprinkle of rain of the variety that could* stay sprinkle-y in Florida... or it could literally be ten seconds to a downpour so thick you can't see anything but grey two feet in front of you. Either one could damage the kimono I had out, so I decided to put them away during the last portion of the speech contest.

One person of interest who came around 4:30 was Susan Carter, one of the Henry B. Plant Museum curators! I got to chat with her for a few minutes before leaving. She mentioned that the museum is hosting an upcoming exhibit entitled "Japan and the Victorians: The Influence of Japanese Art in the Gilded Age". Of course, I'd already signed up ahead of time for the lecture next Friday night! I intend to wear some late Meiji/early Taisho era items. Probably, the kimono from this post, and the Meiji-era obi that goes with it. Or perhaps, I'll look up ukiyo-e and other actual photos from that time period and dress as those women did. If you're going to a formal event, you might as well go in style! Even so, I want to keep it to dark, unobtrusive colours. Subtle is iki. I should probably adjust the hanao on my geta while I still have time... I'm looking forward to this exhibit! I hope it will be a great learning experience!

The J-club organizers were most helpful when it came time to getting my things back to my car at the parking garage. It was so hot (to me, at least) that even in only the yukata, I was getting dizzy... and that was after drinking three bottles of water in only a few hours. To carry three buckets of kimono items and two copy paper boxes of dishes and supplies (like the receipt pads, business cards, etc.) across the Marshall Centre and to the third floor of the garage... oy. They had a trolley though, so all was well. I think I need to look into getting one for myself; if only I knew where to hide one in this small apartment!

E and others took the photos for the festival this year, in case anyone is wondering. To see more, you can visit the J-clubs' FB page! I didn't bring my camera. I figured I'd be too busy getting people into yukata. I'm glad I didn't have to think about it!

I hope to really join the J-club one day, when I can start attending language classes at the university. Just one more thing to put on my list of stuff to do... I can handle it, right? ^_~

1 comment:

  1. That was such a fun day! And I'm especially jealous of the lecture you will go to, I wish I had something similar in the area. Because that's exactly the thing I'm interested in, after taking a Japanese history class last summer. Please take photos, notes, promotional materials and anything else you can, and SHARE!!! :)