Brooklyn New York City Out and About

Sakura Matsuri 2015

Slide1Each year as the cherry blossom trees are slated to reach their peak bloom, hoards of cosplaying Japanophiles descend upon the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to take part in its annual Sakura Matsuri!

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.

IMG_8733

Ace from One Piece

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.IMG_8735IMG_8734The 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!

Aren't these beautiful??

Aren’t these beautiful??

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.

FullSizeRender(3)The older taiko drummers came out next, and they were just as amazing! I could sense the power and the emotion with each beat of the drum and it was almost entrancing.

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.

The Takarabune Dancers

The Takarabune Dancers

For this most joyous of occasions, I even had a little fun with the way that I dressed and broke out my favorite tights.

Do I look good enough to eat?

Do I look good enough to eat?

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!!

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Trudy
    April 29, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    You look like you had lots of fun. I went to the garden yesterday, (Tuesdays are free) and enjoyed myself immensely. I will be back again later in the season when everything has had a chance to bloom, but the blossoms that were out were spectacular .

  • Reply
    Hari Qhuang
    May 5, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Oh, Cosplay!!!!!
    Now that I see this post, I remember that I missed the one done by the Japanese Literature Students in the city near my town
    (T_T)

    Every matsuri event in North Sumatra always have two must-have elements: Japanese food and manga comic books! XD

    I wish we had real sakura blossom, though. They are all plastic…

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