I do not know how the ties between Brazil and Japan were originally made, and even Wikipedia is a bit slim on information. However, Brazil holds the second largest population of Japanese outside of Japan. I cannot really imagine too dissimilar cultures but it seems to work. And it works a little bit both ways. Whilst Japan does not have the second largest population of Brazilians outside of Brazil , they do seem to really appreciate Brazilian culture. One of the ways they do that is with the Asakusa samba festival – a little version of carnival in Tokyo.
Unfortunately, it seems they have not quite got the hang of the after party yet. Still, the costumes, the energy and enthusiasm were all very impressive. Also, going on the crowd that showed up, I’m sure it was also an economic success for Asakusa.
These photos are from the festival held in August 2012. I’m sure it will be on again in 2013. Keep your eyes out in Metro magazine event listings or for posters in the sub-way.
Hanami Festival was on the weekend and is celebrated by picnicking with friends under the cherry blossoms. I was lucky enough to be invited by Yamazaki-San from work to spend Sunday afternoon with a large and diverse group of his friends and friends-of-friends at Meijijingu Park. It seemed that there were about another 50,000 + people there picnicking with us
It was a great day out and I met some wonderful people. In particular they helped break the stereotype of Japanese I have been told about repetitively and have witnessed a lot so far. They were very talkative, reasonably opinionated, mostly spoke pretty good english and many had travelled. Especially to QLD it seemed for either uni or high-school.
The biggest upside to the day was the atmosphere of fun and excitement that pervaded the park. It was a very joyous occasion with lots of singing, dancing and music. The usually reserved facade gave way to a joyous jollyness and amusement. I’m sure the copious amounts of beer, shoyu and Sake may have had something to do with it. None of the public unrest that comes with such public drinking in Australia, UK and the US though.