Nashville Cherry Blossom Japan Relief Event 2011

Yay!

The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival became the Nashville Cherry Blossom Japan Relief Event! In light of recent events, many vendors offered to put part or all of their proceeds towards relief efforts in Japan, and there were many ways to donate.

 

The only foreign consulate here in Tennessee is one for Japan, and we’re proud to have it!

Saturday happened to be a very cold and somewhat rainy day. I only got to go to the event for a couple hours and didn’t get to see many performances (I had been really hoping to see taiko), but I saw that so many people showed up! The event was a great success, as also noted on its Facebook page. By the way, I suggest you check that out, as many people have posted photos there that are better than what I was able to get (though nonetheless I will fill this post up with my pics!). I was happy to have been there! So nice!

I didn’t get many photos (I need to get better at this whole photography thing), but I think the ones I did get capture the spirit of the event. For example…




Cherry blossoms!

Anime fans!

Gatherings!

People in kimono!


Adorable robotic baby seals?!

Performances!

And friends!

I’m glad that we could all come together to help and celebrate Japan, and Japan’s connection to Tennessee! I hope it’s nice and sunny next year.

(I made this sand garden, too! I was feeling out of it, so it's kind of boring.)

Nashville Celebration of Cultures 2010

Sing! Dance! Everybody loves everybody! We’re all connected!

In an effort to get out to more festivals (because, as it turns out, there are a lot of cool ones locally, especially this time of year), I went to the Celebration of Cultures at Centennial Park earlier this month. This happened shortly after a rather successful cultural gathering at my old college (I think the third), and some of the people who were there were also here. I was at the fest all day; it was great. All kinds of people and world cultures combine into one big, awesome fest of love. I danced, I ate, I tanned! But I didn’t eat much because all the food lines were really long. I didn’t get to try all the foods I’d like to have. I need something authentic and Greek,  that’s what I need.

Mostly what I did was watch dance performances and browse the tons of stalls. Even then, I feel like I could have seen more. Everything was so cool, and it was quite impossible to see all of it… I’m anticipating seeing more next year. I did manage to see traditional Japanese dance, but have no photos of it.

Of course, there were several Japan-related booths, like Happy Japan, which always makes an appearance at MTAC (and also Nashville Anime Day, and maybe GMX this weekend?), and another booth filled with anime and Japanese things (at which I bought a parasol, a towel with a Toshusai Sharaku ukiyo-e print on it, and a katana letter opener, because I’m a huge geek). But then there was the World Market section, with booths representing countries around the world! And, of course, there resided a Japan booth.

Name-writing in kanaGet your name written in kana!

Games!Games! I was terrible at all of them. Neno nearly killed me with one of them, too! True story.

Japanese games are fun!Oh! Actually, I wasn’t terrible at the sumo-tapping game (almost front-and-center, there). That one’s my fave. I want one for myself.

Nashville Cherry BlossomsThe people taking charge of this booth are also related to the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, which I completely forgot to go to this year. Spring will be here in no time, though! I anticipate next year’s very much! I love cherry blossoms, along with plums (which I saw a lot of in Franklin in Spring). They’re going to plant 100 cherry blossom trees here every year for 10 years. Let’s make Nashville beautiful!

The culture celebration was a very nice event on a very beautiful day. I almost wish it had been multiple days. I am excited for next year. Seriously, I can’t get enough of things like this. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it last year.

And I’ll end this post with a very gryphon-like…caaaaw!

Me inside the Parthenon, because it was free that day (and I hadn't been since I was a kid)

Animations from Cute to Cool

I enjoyed doing my past blog matsuri research for nice independent animations on the internet made by Japanese people. I should keep posting them from time to time. Here’s an adorable one I just saw, which is actually Taiwanese:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qCbiCxBd2M[/youtube]

Don’t read the comments there if you go to Youtube; though you should never read Youtube comments anyway.

Speaking of animation, I also just saw some pretty neat and elaborate sketch animations for the next Castlevania game. I actually don’t see these kinds of things often, so it’s really cool.

omg
BOOSH!

Download them here.

IS Parade: Mii Parade Meets Katamari!

I’m probably slow in finding this, but this amusing Japanese website meshes Katamari Damacy style with Nintendo Wii’s Mii Parade aesthetic to make a Twitter toy that amuses me perhaps too much!

It makes your Twitter feel special!

I’ve already done this like 8 times.

By the way, I’m on Twitter a lot. If you are, too, you could follow my main account (on which there are many artistic/design ramblings) or the one for this blog (which is similar, but also a feed for posts here).

The Mario Violinist (and More Mario)

You should know, I’m on a real Mario kick right now. With the recent release of Super Mario Galaxy 2, not to mention E3 with all the other great returning classic platform heroes, I just want to play video games all day. But such desires of the id are played down and subdued, only to be lived out in my fantasies while I watch video game related media at work.

(Nah, I’m working, honestly… with a little peep here and there.)

So anyway, I got a real kick out of this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjcFQquHipE[/youtube]

Teppei Okada has the right idea. If I could even remotely play violin, this is exactly what I’d do, too.

While I’m at it, here are a few more Mario videos I’m liking the hell out of. SPOILERS: Mario dies at the end of all these videos. (Why are we all so cruel to him? But I enjoyed long-jumping him into walls in 64, if only to hear that goofy “d’oh, oooof…”)

Continue reading The Mario Violinist (and More Mario)