Omatsuri 2011

The CJCA and the Calgary Buddhist Church hosted the first outdoor “Omatsuri” festival on August 27th at Bridgeland-Riverside Community Centre. It was organized in very traditional Japanese way that included demonstrations of martial arts such as Karate, Kendo and Aikido; as well as cultural performances of Taiko, Koto and Bon-Odori. We also had Kintaro (Golden Boy) and Momotaro (Peach Boy) folktale performances for children.

The fried noodle, dharma dogs, squids, frozen fruits and drinks were all sold out by the end of the day. Handcrafted Japanese items, children’s games and gifts, some of them were shipped directly from Japan were very popular among visitors. Many young people enjoyed sumo-wrestling matches in inflated costumes. People also enjoyed the kimono fashion contest on the stage. We finished the day with dancing traditional bon-odori. It was a beautiful summer day.

This was the first outdoor “Omatsuri” here in Calgary and the responses were just overwhelming. We had, in our rough estimation, over 1,200 people, many of them wearing kimono, taking part in it. The organizers thank all of you who participated in it. You made the day!!

This was a joint effort of many volunteers from the CJCA, the Calgary Buddhist Church, NJCA, Calgary Gospel Church, Kotobuki Senior’s club, Kaede dance club, Lethbridge dancers, Midnight Taiko club, Calgary Aikikai, Hiro’s Judo Club, Mizue Asai-Kaufmann’s koto, Calgary Kendo Club, CJCA Renshikan Karate Club and Consulate-General of Japan in Calgary. Also, the Bridgeland community’s support was greatly appreciated.

The organizers also would like to thank the City of Calgary, Bridges Market Inc., Chris Burylo, Pinnacle Equities Ltd., Pizza Van Go Inc., Roma Catering Services Ltd. and Vintage Roots Lifestyle Inc. for their financial contributions. The organizing committee will be meeting soon to plan the next year’s event.

Taken from the CJCA December 2011 Newsletter – Written by Ted Wada.