since this is supposed to be around the peak time for cherry blossoms (if only the weather was more springtime-like and cooperative), the japanese festival was going on in dc today. Vi & Justin headed on down after she got out of work, and we caught the red line over there.
i love street festivals. i think carnival food is tasty, i could shop through the endless pockets of random crapola all day long, and there’s really very few venues that offer better people-watching. the wackiest one i’ve ever been to is the hon fest in b’more in the summer…it’s in hampden, and populated with crazy women dressed in beehive hairdos & cat’s eye glasses. this one today was the only other time i’ve ever seen a significant percentage of the regular crowd in costume. boatloads of kids (“kids” being defined as everything from actual kidlets to college-aged people) in various ninja gear, a double handful of kimonos & sandals-with-socks, and even a pair of anime characters.
it was the cosplay guys that made me ponder how selective pop culture is about absorbing elements from other places. we tend to think of the japanese as being really (amusingly) crazy people, driving itty-bitty cutsey cars, bowing like bobbleheads, and inventing tamagotchis. i’m sure that 95% of japanese people are utterly ordinary, getting up when alarm clocks inspire them to do so, trying to “look professional” when the boss comes around and otherwise joking around at work with friends, watching a little tv with dinner before bed. but we’re all convinced over here that it’s a hyperactive short-statured sake-and-hentai-fueled laugh riot going on over there. it’s only the really wacky shit that gets exported out of anywhere. the “exotic” food, the porn, the art…basically the stuff that we don’t already have plenty of on our own. which is why the rest of the world thinks of america as a pack of undereducated whores with no sense of style (mad props to hollywood for our own export business, thanks for making us look good).
ah well. bonus points for enthusiasm, guys, but a quick tip: if you have to put on a waist-length black halloween wig to rock out your kimono, o white guy, consider purchasing a mirror for your own home-based use.