Ginza Holiday 2008, continued

As promised, here are more photos of the yearly Japanese cultural shindig put on by Chicago’s Midwest Buddhist Temple. They call it “Ginza Holiday,” and so I will too. Above is a display of paper fans over one of the many booths selling, oh, all kinds of things: sandals, t-shirts, kimonos, toys, happi coats. Colorful, fun stuff.

If you have a bit more cash in your pocket, you can buy from one of the four craftsmen in the “Waza” section of the festival. There are always four sections, but the crafts change from year to year. Directly below we see woodworker Kenji Yoshida, and bamboo artist Kenichi Mouri demonstrating their master-level skills.

On the other side of the “Waza” were two more craftspersons: a ceramicist and a “Shishu” — needlework — artist. Directly above is my photo of them: Eiji Kinoshita, the potter, and Mari Nakai, the embroiderer.

It’s easy to keep kids amused. Table after table is loaded with inexpensive doo-dads: mechanical ladybugs, samurai accoutrements, inexplicable hair decorations, dolls. Things that light up; things that don’t. Toys that fly; toys that require you to provide the animation.

Also Japanese snacks and those rice candies that come in an edible wrapper.

When you’ve had enough of the color and noise, you can go inside the building where you’ll can admire the more sedate displays of calligraphy, brush painting, books, clothing and bonsai trees.

I was about to take a picture of one of the miniature Japanese maples — it was already starting to change color! — but I stopped. I figured, what’s the use of taking a picture of a bonsai tree? All pictures of trees are miniature. I could take a photo of Pike’s Peak, call it a bonsai mountain, and you’d be none the wiser.

The Buddha Temple itself is open upstairs if you want to become really sedate.

Then it’s out into the summer again for al fresco over-indulgence in teriyaki chicken, sushi maki, udon and edamame. Or corn on the cob, if you’ve become nostalgic for the Midwest.

Well, that was my day at the Ginza Holiday yesterday. It’s still going on today even as I write this post. If all goes well, it will happen again next year around this time.


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