Late Saturday afternoon the rains came. This was the first rain that we’ve had in about a month, so it was quite welcome. After the rains, next came the cool down, this was even more welcomed. Anne was still under the weather on Sunday morning, so I launched by myself. I biked over to the Missouri Botanical Gardens to view the Japanese Festival. The Japanese Festival is the biggest show at the gardens all year-long and this year is the thirty-fifth anniversary of this festival. The weather was nice and cool, the ride over there was eased by a tailwind and I got a choice parking space at the bike rack.
Yum-Yum and Peep-Bo, as I call them, were two women in full Japanese garb. They had likely just come from the kimono fashion show. They were viewing the bonsai and ikebana or flower arranging exhibit like I was. The bonsai tree pictured is eighty years old and it spent sixty of those years being trained. I spoke to two other women who were exhibiting in the ikebana part of the exhibit. The showed me their entries, but I chose to show the yellow chrysanthemums one instead. I watched a little of the sumo wrestler’s demonstration, which mainly consisted of warm-up exercises, two fat guys in diapers. Wait! I was walking around in bike shorts. Maybe I should have been on stage? The Japanese drummers are pictured with a girl from the audience.
The Omikoshi is a Shinto shrine that is carried down from the mountains in the springtime and then back up in the fall. This process is performed to aid the rice god in giving his blessing to the fields. It looked like they were getting ready perform the ceremony and start to haul this shrine around, but it was taking them an inordinate amount of time to do so. Then I overheard one of the participants explain to another audience member, “Yesterday we had plenty of participants, but today we are a little bit short and if you hang around long enough you may get drafted.” I took this as my cue to move on.
Other performers included the candy man, the ice sculptor and the top spinner. There were also karate demonstration that seemed quite popular. I tried hard to get a decent picture of the koi wind socks, still not as good as the one in the brochure. I don’t know what to make of the three girls costumed as kitties. I think that they were part of the popular modern Japanese cultural exhibits of the festival. And this is still not my whole day …
The bonsai is spectacular.
How long does the ice sculpture last?
The kitties are kind of …, well, the middle one looks a bit like the cheshire cat, who I have always found to be a bit creepy as well.
There were a lot of bonsai there and not all of them were evergreens. About the ice sculpture’s longevity, yesterday the high was a hundred, today it was in the seventies, the low for tomorrow is supose to be in the fifties. At this rate, it may last until spring. And about the scary kitties, well you know me and cats.
The middle scary kitty is on the front page of today’s paper, sumo wrestling!