Samurai at 2017 Hina Matsuri Festival

 

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The armor of the samurai.   Labor intensive, intricate,  beautiful and full of meaning.  Rows of leather and plates of metal woven together with silk cord to make formidable protection.  Functional yet mesmerizing.

Dazzling helmets designed to strike apprehension into opponents upon recognition.

Join us this Saturday or Sunday, March 4th and 5th, at Simpson United Methodist Church, 6001 Wolff St. in Arvada, Colorado for the 49th Annual Hina Matsuri Festival. Hours are 11:30am to 4pm and this is a free event.

Enjoy the doll room, tea ceremony,  bonsai displays, ikebana (flower arranging) display, nonstop entertainment  including music and martial arts or have your name written in Japanese characters.

Here are a couple more displays you will be able to appreciate:

Lion Cub Doll from Hina Matsuri Festival

Suiseki Display From The Hina Matsuri Festival

2017 Hina Matsuri Festival at Simpson

2017-hina-matsuri

Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day.  In Japan it is held every March 3rd.  At Simpson our Festival is held the first full weekend of every March, this year March 4th and 5th.

The Festival is open to the public and free of charge.

The families in the Japanese community display their amazing dolls, many of which have been in their families for generations.  A few posts on dolls:  Kokeshi DollsOtafuku-SanPictures from Past Hina Matsuri Festivals

Also on display are Bonsai (miniature plants and trees) Bonsai at Hina Matsuri Festival and Ikebana (flower arranging) Ikebana at Hina Matsuri Festival.  Very welcome as we wait for spring to finally replace winter.

The ladies prepare Bento Boxes for lunch each day which are extremely popular and are sold out quickly.

A constant parade of activity on the stage in the gymnasium including Taiko Drums, Martial Arts and variety of music.  Taiko with Toni 2015 Hina Matsuri Festival

Other interesting displays are the Kimonos Wedding Kimono, Gaman Art from Internment Camp The Art of Gaman in Internment Camps, a Display at Hina Matsuri Festival

Hope you can join us!  6001 Wolff Street in Arvada, Colorado (just off of Sheridan & 60th).

 

The Year of the Fire Monkey or Red Monkey 1956 and 2016, Henry and Mom

 

Henry 3 months
Henry 3 months

Henry here with a guest blog post on something I share with Mom.

The year of the Fire Monkey occurs every 60 years, the last time was in 1956, the year Mom was born.  The year 2016, the year I was born, is a Fire Monkey year running from February 8, 2016 to January 27, 2017.  Not sure of my exact birthday as I am a rescue but it is the end of October so Mom and I decided we can share the same birthday, October 29th!

The year of the Monkey occurs every 12 years.  Other types of Monkey years are Metal, Water, Wood and Earth.

Other famous Fire Monkey babies born in 2016 and 2017?

  • Deveraux Octavian Basil Jagger born December 8th to Mick Jagger.  The eighth child of the 73 year old Sir Mick Jagger.  Long live rock-n-roll!
  • River Rocket Oliver son of Chef Jamie Oliver born on August 8th.  River’s siblings?  Poppy Honey Rose, 14, Daisy Boo Pamela, 12, Petal Blossom Rainbow, 6, and Buddy Bear Maurice, 5.
  • Sawyer Mathew Shay born December 31st, 10 minutes to midnight, making him one of the last babies to be born in 2016.  And his twin Everett Jackson Shay born just after midnight on January 1st, making him one of the first new year’s babies of 2017.
  • Hugo Wilson Dallas son of Prince Charming and Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas) born on June 1st.  As you may recall from an earlier post, my Mom picked out my name Henry before she found me.  She was reading a book called The Corner of Bitter and Sweet and the main character was Henry who she loved.  At the same time she was watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix.  Henry was the son of the Savior and the grandchild of Prince Charming and Snow White.  She watched Henry grow from a boy to a brave and smart young man.  I plan to grow from a small rescue puppy into a brave and smart dog.

Monkeys are known as:  Ambitious, adventurous, clever and lucky.  The outgoing nature of the Monkey makes them great performers.  Monkeys have quick confident responses to anything they face.  This coupled with their intelligence make them helpful allies in solving problems.

The Fire Monkey is the most passionate and energetic of the Monkeys.  Fire Monkeys tend to be adventurous and risk-takers (this explains why I already stand and balance on my brother’s feeding dishes at mealtimes).

Fire Monkeys love to be the center of attention and I keep Roscoe, Monty and Mom hopping!

 

ALLEGIANCE

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A friend invited me to join her at the one night showing of George Takei’s Broadway Musical on the Big Screen, Allegiance.  The theater here in Denver was packed and sold out.

Based on the experiences of George Takei and his family’s internment in a concentration camp when he was 5 years old.  120,000 Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes and imprisoned in these camps after Pearl Harbor. Watching this production was a sobering experience.  I kept imagining my parents living through this.

My parents shared little of their experiences as a United States Army soldier and his wife who was imprisoned even though she was married to a soldier.  What they did share I now realize was pretty sugar coated.

As we were leaving the theater another attendee, a Caucasian woman, turned to me with a pained expression.  She said that she never learned about this in school and was unaware that this even happened until she met and heard about the camps from a Japanese family.

Ditto.  An important part of history that I may only know about because my parents actually lived through it!

 

Chigiri-e Art From Hina Matsuri Festival

Chigiri-e
Chigiri-e

This wonderful example of Chigiri-e art was displayed at a recent Hina Matsuri festival and is amazing.

Created from pieces of handmade paper. The paper is so delicate, even more delicate than tissue paper.

The artist is extremely talented and practices many different forms of Japanese art.

I have been enjoying her art displays at the festival for years and did not realize she was the artist for all the different forms of art she practices.

Her soul is even more amazing than her art and both she and her art are true inspirations.

 

Suiseki Display From The Hina Matsuri Festival

Suiseki Matsutake Button
Suiseki Matsutake Button

Suiseki

The art of stone appreciation.  The stones are naturally occurring, shaped by time and nature.  Representing everyday things we should be thankful for, amazing creations of water and wind.

Suiseki can be many things so let your mind appreciate what you may find.

It could be a plant like the Matsutake mushroom above.

Suiseki Sheep and Paradise
Suiseki Sheep and Paradise

A miniature landscape?  Waterfall, mountain or forest?

Your brother’s smiling face or a cat or dog from your childhood?

The cabin your family used to rent or the sunset you would all enjoy from its porch?

A drop of water on a pond, a blizzard of snowflakes, a volcano erupting?

A miracle of nature creating a masterpiece, taking its time, maybe centuries, to bring us peace and and serenity for as long as we care to gaze.