This Spring Festival is noted in Japan for a wonderful procession of deities or Kami, around Shinto shrines. Although Toronto’s Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre is not able to perform such an elaborate ritual, it holds a lively celebration that all can enjoy. It has charming activities for children too.
Cranes are the overriding theme for this year’s Haru Matsuri on March 3 and 4. Then, you will be able to view the famous Senbazuru which are mobiles made of 1000 origami or folded paper cranes. Along with this unique craft, there will be many tempting displays for viewing and sale. Look for Sumi-e Brush Painting, Ikebana Flower Arranging, and Bunka Shishu Embroidery.
As usual there will be a fine array of Japanese spring food delights, old favourites like noodle soup. You can also munch on sushi and snacks while resting between browsing the various booths.
Unique to this year’s festival is an exhibit of Kimiko Koyanagi Dolls. These are beautifully stylized wooden dolls elongated to appear very elegant indeed. See: http://bit.ly/x0PrGg .
As has been the tradition at the JCCC the main Kobayashi Hall will be filled with performances of drumming, traditional musical instruments, and odori, traditional Japanese dancing.
Adventuresome visitors can pay a small fee to dress in Japanese costumes to have their photo taken welcoming Spring. This is also done in Japan. A temple is erected every year in the JCCC hall for this purpose. A large number of captivating Hina Maturi dolls will surround the shrine.
For details, see March 3 and 4, www.TorontoMulticulturalCalendar.com . — P. Anne Winter.