A Splash of Japanese Culture at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

It’s something I look forward to every year. Seeing the gentle sway of the Japanese Cherry Blossom trees all lined up and sprinkled around the Brooklyn’s Botanical Garden during Sakura Matsuri is a hard to miss spectacle. I mean seriously, just being in the presence of these delightful treasures will bring on instant peace. Having a bad day? Go to Sakura Matsuri, gaze at these pink wonders and you will immediately forget what made you so upset. Boom! There you go! Of course, I can’t forget the collection of Japanese culture laced throughout along with the luscious greenery and pink.

At the 34th annual festival, even the parking wars, the wrap around lines and the lack of blossoms failed to lower my high of excitement. The grounds were filled with people of different backgrounds and some were dressed in well done Cosplay costumes. It was incredible to see the diversity filling the place. One of my favorite parts of the day was the “Takarabune Dance” by the Awa Odori dance and narimono drum ensemble from Skikoku, Japan. The performers were so full of life; they were literally drenched with enthusisam. I could not understand how they could dance for so long. The performance was eloquent, graceful and at times comedic. It was a treat to hear the repetitive drumming arrangements and see the stylistic movements similar to a crane.

It was fun just walking around the grounds and taking in the sights. Men and women were adorned in these beautiful kimonos and yukatas. And it was hard not to stop and capture the creativity displayed in each Cosplay outfit. My friend Serena and I got to see some pretty impressive creations. The fabulous Un-Re Designs (Who was also at Divisi6n’s first Brooklyn 2 Tokyo) made quite the mark with their unique cutesy accessories. There was also some great literature including a book by Abby Denson about dolls taking back womanhood by defeating the negative idiosyncrasies plastered upon young women.

In all, Sakura Matsuri was an excellent start to the lovely season we like to call Spring. And there was still so much that I missed still. I hope all who attended truly enjoyed themselves. For those who didn’t, you better be there next year – Or else! (Jk) :p

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