With samurai sword martial arts, Japanese folk dancing, magicians, tea ceremonies, traditional taiko drumming, and the event almost everyone comes for: The Sixth Annual Sakura Matsuri Cosplay Fashion Show, there really is a little something for everyone.
For those not familiar, Cosplay is a portmanteau of the words Costume Play, and it is an opportunity for individuals to express themselves through costumes, accessories, wigs, makeup, and even contact lenses to represent their favorite manga, video game, anime, and comic book characters, or even ones that they’ve made up themselves.
The fashion show participants and many of its attendees took their cosplaying skills to other levels, and it really was so fun seeing people bring their favorite characters to to life, as I’m sure that these outfits took lots of time, money, and skill.The cherry blossoms were unfortunately not all out, so I guess it wasn’t an official “cherry blossom fest,” but the few trees that were in full bloom were bombarded with cameras and people waiting to get a closeup of these beautiful buds. I’m anxiously waiting for the moment that I can see all of the trees on the Cherry Esplanade in their full glory because I’m sure it’ll be a sight to behold!
My favorite event of the day had to be a traditional Japanese style of drumming known as taiko. The first group that I watched were the NY Suwa Taiko Kids All Stars, with the oldest probably no more than 16, but their level of concentration, skill, and coordination was definitely that of a much older group.
I also can’t forget about the Takarabune Dancers coming all the way from Shikoku, Japan, who impressively combined complex dance moves, intense drumming, and even a little bit of comedy into an entertaining show that was enjoyed by all.
Despite the crowds and the lack of cherry blossoms, it really was such a fun way to spend the day. I loved learning about traditional Japanese customs and I definitely feel like I got a crash course all in one afternoon. I highly recommend checking out this event next year if you get the chance, but for those who can’t wait that long, Japan Day is happening in Central Park on May 10th and it’s completely free. See you there!!