Monday, April 20, 2009


Last week, my brother, his gf and I were at the cherry blossom festival (hanami) at Kungsträdgården. Thought I'd post some photos of Swedish cherry blossoms, but it looks like someone beat me to it.

Taiko in Kungsträdgården
The celebration started off with a taiko drum performance. It felt rather anachronistic seeing this centuries old artform being performed in the middle of a city.

Look at them go!

Later, the chairwoman of the local Japanese club showed us part of a Noh play. Unfortunately we couldn't hear much of it since she wasn't wearing a microphone. It was extremely expressive however, and her forceful stomps even dislodged one of those red banners behind the stage. Cooler heads would say the strong winds might have been the culprit, but I'm sticking to my story.

The Swedish Kendo team was there to show off their skills.

No celebration would be complete without a fashion show. I believe these kimono are for everyday use.

These colourful kimono are for celebrations.

This is the Sakura Choir. They sang a few pretty songs, but by this time it was so cold and windy we were all shaking and had to get some actual cherry blossom photos before we froze to death, so we only listened to one and a half song.

I found some of the models "backstage" where some of my fellow gawking Swedes and I snapped a few photos.

This photo may seem perfect at first, but if you look closely her fingers are freezing. It was actually snowing at this point. I wish I were joking, but this is April in Sweden. I'm surprised any of the trees even dared to bloom.

The anime nerds were out in full force, celebrating the Japanese culture in their own quirky way, bless their hearts.

Cute teddybear backpacks were not an uncommon sight.

These European girls emulate the Japanese emulation of a European ideal. The mind boggles. Aren't they cute? How much time does it take just to get the hairdo right? And how much do those creepy dolls cost? Equal parts kawaii and kowai, if you will.

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