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Sep 02

Powell Street Festival finishes with a bash-o

Under the storytelling tree

Vancouver’s 35th annual Powell Street Festival brought out the crowds…and the sun!   PSF is about ‘all things Japanese’, from entertainment to food to crafts, and so much more. 

Takeshi and I found shade under the storytelling tree, next to the Children’s Tent, at 3pm on both days.  It wasn’t difficult to attract kids…of all ages. Many over 65 were curious to have a look at our kamishibai theatre, taking their own trip back in years to relive childhood memories.  Kids were kept busy having fun—blindfolded to see who could split the watermelon (Suiki Wari), Tug-of-War, Origami, face painting, and the ever popular “scream contest”. 

A little kamishibai history lesson

Where all the action is!

Yatta! Neko catches the fly.

Food vendors….well, you can’t get any better than Yakitori, okonomiyaki, udon, gyoza, sushi, mochi, and…wait for it….Spam nigiri sushi??  Don’t even ask. 

Food Vendors

Displays were top notch; elegant bonsai, harmonious ikebana, shodo (calligraphy), sumie (ink brush painting) and shiatsu. 

The organizing committee did a grand job, re-introducing the “zero waste challenge” to the weekend, complete with free bicycle valet service. 

The Festival closed Sunday with the ever popular sumo match.  While living in Japan, I became an ardent sumo fan and enjoyed the Nagoya basho (tournament) every year.  My equally crazy kiwi friend and I attended a sumo party at the Hilton Hotel where I got my photo taken with a young rikishi (westler) who later muscled his way to the top.  Honest!   While I search for it I’m posting a prime photo of two party crashers(?) and Chiyonofuji, the most famous Yokozuna of all time, now a beloved stable master.  It was an honour.  Since I can’t figure out how to enlarge, get out your magnifying glass!

The Great Chiyonofuji aka The Wolf, Nagoya, Japan

PSF’s sumo ring, 2011

Thanks to my friend Ray Nakamura for taking the “kamishibai” presentation photos 

p.s.  Checkout the upcoming “HAPAPALOOZA”, a 4-day festival starting September 7th in Vancouver, celebrating “mixed roots arts and ideas”.  Interesting program;  www.hapapalooza.ca.

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