Trafalgar Square in the heart of London was the venue for this year’s Japan Matsuri Festival. I was overwhelmed with the amount of people in attendance, last year there were 35,000 people but this year there were at least 70,000 people.
His Excellency Mr Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan formally opened the 2012 Japan Matsuri, there were Spectacular performances from Taiko Drumming, music from Okinawa and Japanese dance from Tsugaru Shimisen and Violins from the British Suzuki Institute, Lolita Fashions from the Tea Party Club and Children from the Japanese School Tsubasa Children’s Choir, such talented performers.
The OTGKA was asked to give a demonstration at this year's Okinawan Day held in Spitalfield's market, London. Please see this link for a great report of the event, including a brief history of the origins of karate.
Thanks to Ali Muskett for sharing this video of Shisochin kata and the following photos:
More photos of the day are available on Flickr.
The OTGKA was invited to demonstrate at two Japanese events in London last year. The first event was Okinawa Day, held in Spitalfields in June. The two photos below were taken by Stephen Chung (click here for more photos).
This was followed by a demonstration at Japan Matsuri in September. This photo was taken by Laura Hilton-Smith, winning 3rd prize in the photography awards.
Thank you to the photographers for giving kind permission to re-post these images.
Matsuri comes from the word that means Festival or Holiday ‘to entertain' or ‘to serve’ it is also used to refer to Shinto Festivals.
The venue was the prestigious County Hall in London which is a landmark of days gone by; it is also close to The Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, The London Aquarium and Matsuri 2010. 35,000 people attended last year.
What an exciting day we had, I arrived at 11.30 to the sound of Classic Okinawan Music and the aroma of a diverse range of Okinawan delicacies, and there were an array of stalls that were selling artefacts that were hand made by the people.
Chief Instructor OTGKA