Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Powell Street Festival

1977 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese Canadian immigrant - Manzo Nagano. It was also the start of the Powell Street Festival.

As we all know the Japanese - both immigrants and Canadian born - have had to deal with many hardships yet have stuck it out and thankfully flourished. And the first Powell Street Festival was honouring the fact that after a hundred years they are still here.

The festival is a celebration of history and place. Held at what is now known as Oppenheimer Park, this was originally Powell Grounds and was in the center of Japantown. It was a thriving community of shops, services and of family. People gathered in this park to cheer on the Asahi baseball team and to experience a sport that was denied to them elsewhere because of their heritage.

This festival is a Canadian version of the Japanese matsuri.

Matsuri is the Japanese word for festival and these festivals are usually sponsored by a local temple or shrine although they can be secular as well.

Last year when I attended the festival I ate tofu from Sunrise Soya. This year I tried the Spam Sushi. It was different I will say that. Who knows what I will taste if I go next year!

I am not sure what the Osaka Ball was but, as you can see, the line up shows it must be popular.

Sunrise Soya was there again and this time showing some of the clothing they sell. Once I get my weight down - hopefully around Christmas - I want to get one of the black hoodies. They look comfortable and warm!

If you've remembered to bring some money with you, you won't starve. And food is not that expensive. I like to walk around the park and see what is being sold and then chose the one I want to try. One thing and that way I won't end up being too full and not able to walk home.

There was also unique, fun displays.

A yo-yo water balloon. A different idea I would say and looked like fun. A person had to fish them out of the bin of water with a hook on a string - much like a fishing rod.

I have more photos to show you and more to talk about concerning the festival. But that is for another day.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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