Japan Matsuri – 2018

‘Matsuri’ means ‘festival’ in Japanese, and on 30th Septmeber in London’s Trafalgar Square the festivities were well and truly underway. Multiple elements of Japanese culture were highlighted at the event, some of which I will share with you below:

Origami – This visually stunning art form was on display for all to enjoy. The word ‘origami’ comes from the Japanese terms ‘ori’ = ‘folding’ and ‘kami’ = ‘paper’ (Kami was changed to gami due to rendaku). One of the most classic origami models in the culture is of the ‘paper crane/ orizuru ‘. In particular the ‘red-crowned crane’ holds special significance, it is believed that its wings carried souls up to paradise. Other recognisable  figures include the  Kawasaki rose, the cat and the dragonfly.

Japanese Matsuri 2018 - Origami workshop and contest in London Trafalgar Square

As you can see in the picture, a mini origami contest was held, F*ck sake Fuka you’re an origami wizkid – taking just 39 seconds to make……….ur….something!!

Matsuri Art Wall – The 9 metre long canvas stood parallel to The National Art Gallery and in true style was open to  festival-goers to let their creative juices flow. Sketching their own fantastic creations in front of one of the nation’s best art galleries.

Matsuri wall at Matsuri Japan festival celebrating Japan-UK relations. Held in Trafalgar Square - London

FOOOOOOOOD!

Japanese food sellers at the Matsuri event in London

Apologies, there’s no actual photo of real food! Although some names that definiely gae me fod for thought:

a)Takoyaki

b) Kara-age

c) Amazake

d) Okonomiyaki

Do you know what the above are?

a) mini savoury wheat flour balls , usually filled with savoury ingredients: diced octopus, onions, pickled ginger.

b) A Japanese frying style, a popular type is fried chicken

c) Fermented rice drink

d) Japanese savoury pancake a common filling of which is shredded cabbage.

Japanese Calligraphy and Manga Art Workshop

Japanese calligraphy at Matsuri 2018 London

Japanese manga portrait at Japan Matsuri, London

Demonstrations and a change to give it a go yourself – beautiful Kanji  characters were on display during the Japanese calligraphy workshop.

Manga – ‘comics/cartooning’ – the art of drawing Manga was celebrated through personalised portraits.

Japanese Tableware

Some of the most quaint and beautiful tableware has to come from Japan, whether it’s minimalist and clean or exquisitely decorative, all is simply quite stunning.

Japanese Tableware at Japan Matsuri, London 2018

tattoo waves japanese plates

Sweeeeets!

Japanese sweets pocky matcha, chocolate, watermelon

Lemonade popular in Japan - Ramune

Pocky + Ramune = Japanese treat

Pocky – chocolate coated biscuit sticks originally sold in 1966 in Japan. Since then, flavours have certainly became alot more experimental, you can now get: cookies and cream, green tea and coconut to name but a few. Definitely give them a try.

Ramune – meaning ‘lemonade’ a fun drink which involves the owner self-carbonating the liquid. In other words making bubbles magically appear. To open the bottle, a device to push the marble inward is provided. The marble is pushed inside the neck of the bottle where it rattles around while drinking.

The event is annual, I would hihgly recommend going if you’re in London late September next year (or the year after, or the year after or the…….).

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