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.
The Chairman of the Japan Matsuri Committee, Mr Keisaku Sano formally declared the event open. The Ceremonial Cracking of a Sake Barrel was followed by speeches from the main guests, His Excellency Mr Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan and representatives from the British government, the Japan Society, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry in the UK , the Nippon Club and the Japanese Association.
The street were lined with stalls that would exhibit Cultural, Traditional and Fundraising topics, I was amazed just how many Japanese people where in London and to see Japanese Children in School uniform walking around enjoying the day, it was just like being back in Japan / Okinawa.
There were three stages for the Performing Arts and we were blessed with fine weather the Sun was shining and spirits were high, the demo was for 30 minutes which seemed to fly by, and people were given the opportunity to see Kendo, Naginata, Judo, Aikido and Goju - Ryu Karate – Do.
It was an honour to be invited to perform at this Festival 2011, and so I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Japan Matsuri Committee and John Healy, Reon Campbell, Nick Radford, Sergio Agosti and Kevin and Mika Duffy.
Website of Japan Matsuri
Please also see Article on Itsumo Japan Blog
Chief Instructor OTGKA