Another year at the Sakura Matsuri and so comes the gathering of Japanese culture, food, games, and performances. Sadly, I missed the full bloom of the Sakura trees and was only able to get a few shots of some leftover leaves. However, I wasn't going to let it get to me and mess up my day so I looked to the more positive aspects of the festival.
Didn't catch much but the ones I seen were pretty solid. The Taiko drumming performance was really well done. It started off with a Children's team, offering a simple yet epic beat that showed how much they practice. Than came the Tailo Masala group who beats were felt many people inners. Heading over to one of the Garden's entrances, was the elegant Hanagasa Odori: Flower Hat Dance Procession while wearing bright colors of orange, white, yellow, and blues. Before I left I needed to check out Uncle Yo's ANime Stand-up Comedy which always puts a smile on your face when you hear him talking about references and how people look at our culture.
While I was at the garden, I spent some time play a game of Shogi. It has some similar properties as Chess with the idea of protecting the king and how some of the movements each piece has but there are a lot of differences. I wont go too deep in to what they are but the two major things that make Shogi different from Chess is rankings and droppings. Ranking or promotion allows a piece, when it gets to the 3rd row on the opponent side of the board, to change it movement type. Example Rook, like in Chess, can move left to right and forward and backward. When it is promoted, it can now move one space diagonal. Dropping allows you place a opponent's piece that you capture on to the board. It takes a move but it allows you to place pieces in most areas of the board. I lose my first game but the instructor was impress that by how smart I was in some of my movements and placements.
Lots of cosplay. From familiar series, more abstract American cartoons, and Gothiclolitas.