|The Genki Spark|
The Genki Spark, ShinDaiko, Mountain River Taiko, Odaiko New England, Boston Miyake Taiko), a dance troupe (Takahashi Minyo Kai), and shishimai (Stuart Paton of Burlington Taiko).
I have lived in New England longer than I've lived anywhere else and I can't say that I've ever really felt like I was part of the wider communities that I have lived in. I didn't realize until I worked for a summer program in California a few years ago what a huge difference it makes to see your culture reflected in the community around you. From the time I got off the plane at SFO, I was surrounded by reminders of the long history of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans in California (many of them Japanese American) from the Asian-inspired art to the names of donors on the wall at a local clinic to the restaurants to the people on the street. Although I've spent a lot of time in Hawaii and experienced the same there when visiting family, it's so different from the East Coast it often feels like visiting another country. Somehow experiencing it in California when I wasn't on vacation was a revelation. Ever since then I've been making more of an effort to connect with Japanese and Japanese Americans in Boston. Unfortunately, since we have no community center or single clearinghouse organization, it's often difficult to do.
yukata and spend an afternoon feeling like I was part of a community.
|Red bean ginger mochi |
dusted with cinnamon
Karen Young, founder and artistic director of The Genki Spark, said in her thank yous that this matsuri is community-driven and wouldn't happen without the help of all the participating groups, organizations, and businesses and the volunteers. This year's matsuri was staged in partnership with: The Japan Society of Boston, Showa Boston, the New England chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, and two other Brookline schools: the Amos A. Lawrence School and the William H. Lincoln School. Food vendors were: Hana Japan (Newburyport), Ittoku (Brighton), and Mochi Kitchen (Somerville). The matsuri was sponsored by the Brookline Commission for the Arts, Temple University Japan, The Japan Foundation, New York, and the Brookline High School PTO. If you're a member of a Japanese or Japanese American group and would like to participate next year or you'd just like to volunteer as an individual you should contact Karen!
Karen, Genki Spark members, Brookline High School teachers & students - otsukaresama desu!
Some photos below. Additional photos here.
|Takahashi Minyo Kai|
|Miyano Takahashi, owner of Hana Japan, Newburport |
and founder of Takahashi Minyo Kai
|Right: Karen Young, founder and artistic director of The Genki Spark|
|Odaiko New England|
|Boston Miyake Taiko|
|Shishimai - Stuart Paton of Burlington Taiko|
|The Genki Spark|
|Finale - all groups|