The Guilty Party

Monday, February 23, 2009


February 23, 2009

This past Saturday we went to the 25th Annual Matsuri Festival at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. Actually, if one of the emcees there is to be trusted, and I see no reason not to, Matsuri is Japanese for festival. So the title is a bit redundant, but that's okay. Any society that can embrace the phrase "ATM machine" isn't all that picky when it comes to repetition.

We took our first journey on the new Valley Metro Light Rail and I enjoyed the fact I didn't have to contend with downtown traffic, including all the confounding one way streets, and the extravagantly priced parking garages. The day was sunny, the crowd was liberally sprinkled with costumed young folk celebrating their favorite manga and anime characters, the food was so-so, the music ranged sonically from soothing in the extreme to the sort that could rearrange your innards from a distance. All in all a most satisfactory day.

This is the third time I have attended Matsuri, each time with my daughter. The first time I was surprised by the number of participants who were obviously not of Japanese descent. Lots of folks whose last names would have put them right at home at the Highland Festival that was going on at another park in Phoenix on the same weekend. But there they were, dressed in kimonos, playing Japanese instruments, demonstrating Oriental martial arts, tending to their bonsai and generally reveling in all things Asian. I am no longer surprised by this but I do find it encouraging. To be able to seek out what each individual finds beautiful and worthwhile and to share that love with like-minded people, regardless of whether any or all of you can claim it as even a peripheral sort of heritage, is a good thing. A hope for the human race sort of thing.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the photos from Saturday.

There was a booth hosted by a church where for a dollar donation you could make a little ribbon whirly thing. Anne was assisted by a lovely lady
who it turned out was a retired teacher. So she and Anne had a nice
conversation while they were putting together the twirly. I just liked
the image of the two pairs of hands.

There seems to be something about whacking these very loud drums that appeals to Anglo Saxon women. Good on them!

This woman was featured in a solo dance. She was all poise and grace. Quite lovely to watch.

And of course the kids. They were great.

Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise.

1 comment:

Jenn Nixon said...

Man I wish they had something like that around by me! Great pictures.

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I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.