Sunday, April 24, 2016

Japanese Spring Festival in Fort Worth TX

by Gaby

Every year, I like to attend a few Japanese culture events around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, yesterday I visited the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens for the Japanese Spring Festival at the Japanese Gardens. 

This year I noticed that the price for admission has really gone up, last year it was $6 but this year it was $8, talk about inflation am I right?!  Even with the large price increase, that did not stop the people from coming to this event, in fact it was the most crowded I had ever seen before.  So crowded that even in the middle of one a dance performance someone had to get on the microphone and tell people to sit down because other people couldn't see the stage behind them.

This year they had the usuals, lots of booths with arts and crafts around the zen garden. Origami booths, calligraphy, artisans, and Japanese carnival games.  There were a few vendors selling accessories, hats, wall scrolls, and trinkets.  Also a booth where people could try on a traditional Japanese kimono and take a picture.

Some of the main attractions were schools of martial arts, Japanese tea ceremony,  dancing, and the taiko drummers.  This year was also made possible by the Fort Worth Japanese Society, check out their facebook page for more up to date information on any upcoming events
Also look forward to the Fall Festival that they put on at the gardens as well, lots of fun activities are usually in the works for that as well. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Review: Only Yesterday

by Gaby

The 1991 Studio Ghibli Film has finally been released in the US this year, 2016.  
In this film the year is 1982 and Taeko is now a 27 year old single career woman working in Tokyo where she has lived all her life.  Her family has made it a point to state that she should start looking for a husband since she isn't getting any younger. 

Taeko and crush, Hirota, in 5th grade
Taeko has longed for the country life ever since she was in fifth grade in 1966, when all her friends would go off on trips to a relatives place in the country.  Now that her sister is married, her brother in law has family in the countryside and she is going to take advantage of having that family connection and go to the country to help with the farming season. 
During the trip and even her entire time at the farm, she continously has flashbacks from when she was in fifth grade.  Remembering times from when a boy had a crush on her, puberty discussions with her friends, going to the baths with her sisters, or the first time she was struck by her dad. 
Taeko and Toshio at the farm hanging out
While she is at the farm, she hangs out with her brother in laws distant cousin Toshio, they seem to have a good connection when they talk that even Toshio's family starts to wonder if maybe Taeko would like to stay and become part of the family.

This film is great to be enjoyed by both young and older viewers relating to issues that many people have had to face growing up.  Sure I guess I could call it a coming of age type of movie, since there are a lot of coming of age scenes int he flashbacks.

In the end I enjoyed this film, Studio Ghibli films are hard to be disappointing, I wish this had been released a lot sooner, but better late than never I suppose.  I recommend this movie if you enjoy Hayao Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli films, if you are looking for a good coming of age anime, or if you are in the mood for some good slice of life movies with a retro vibe.