Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nisei Week part 1: Finding a Parking Space...

I've wanted to see Nisei Week in Little Tokyo for a while now. I got more motivation as one of the cosplayers I keep in touch with informed me of a cosplay contest scheduled for Sunday. Anyway, I decided to come today to figure out the parking situation before the parade scheduled for tomorrow and check out what booths are out there (and where the portolets are...the other name for portable restroom is copyrighted, like how in my CPR class they refer to the procedure for dealing with choking as abdominal thrusts instead of that maneuver that shares a name with a caterpillar in that Disney/Pixar movie about ants which should not be confused with Antz).

After driving around the block a couple of times to find the advertised entrance (and almost running over some furries on their way to L.A. City Hall...no pic because I didn't want to be caught with my camera phone in my hand while driving), I gave up and went to one of my usual parking places in Little Tokyo...I should've expected lots to be full since I came at around 3pm...thanks to some teens in several cars on the 110 freeway...a kid in the front car threw dollar bills out the window, while their friends in the back cars stopped to pick it up...

I wasn't expecting any cosplay today because of the contest Sunday, but I was surprised. All the cosplayers, were not planning on entering the contest.

Since I wasn't really sure what was planned, I picked up a copy of the schedule of events and pored over it while making a Coke last for two hours at the Cafe de Salon Basix above Jungle anime store.

After figuring out where the exhibits and activities are, I ventured back into the breach.

Before I get into what I ate and what the cosplayers I found wore, I would like to share some pics of the 1st annual L.A. Tanabata Festival near the MOCA and Japanese American National Museum...(check out http://jhills-tanabata.community.officelive.com/default.aspx if you are wondering why it is being held in August instead of July (I remember my Japanese penpal sending me Mickey Mouse shaped pieces of paper from the Tanabata Festival held at Tokyo Disneyland...you write your wish on pieces of paper like this and hang from a bamboo shoot during Tanabata, if I understand it correctly...).




The giant streamers actually came from Sendai, Japan, where they hold their Tanabata Festival in August. Others were made by local community groups, such as the LAPD:



Speaking of men in uniform, next to the Geffen Contemporary (MOCA) where the streamers are located is a memorial to all the Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. military during WWII while many of their friends and families were interned in concentration camps:



Okay, now back to the main story of the eating and taking of pictures in this relatively short visit...

My dinner consisted of yakisoba, fish cake on a stick, and meatballs on a stick that was purchased from food stands inside the Japanese Village Plaza:



All this was washed down with a bottle of melon Ramune, of course (though I'm partial to Aquarius as I survived on that when I was dealing with the heat in Tokyo).

Since many of the stores close at 8pm, I got some shopping in and then went straight home to get ready for a really busy day tomorrow filled with cosplay, parades, and cultural exhibits...and more food.

During my brief visit to Little Tokyo today, I did see some cosplay, and here it is...





Gotta love the bunnies on that guy's kimono?/yukata? And yes I know one can argue the ice cream skirt doesn't qualify as gothic-lolita, but really lolita, but it may be easier to use a single tag to cover it.

As a preview for the cosplay contest, here's one of the judges (correction: one of the organizers)...



He said he may allow a few walk-in entries, but I'm still unsure of entering as I wanna take more pics. Besides, I dunno what the Jungle staff would think if I was dressed up as Meito...

2 comments:

Natsumi said...

Oh look, it's me (with the Keyblade)! I was cosplaying as Aqua from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (not released yet). Did you assume I was a Tifa or did I tell you my name is Tiffany (I'[m always confused at that)? Anyways, I'm glad you caught me that day (I was at AX too!). Thank you!~

amateur_cameko said...

I just assumed Tifa since I couldn't think of any other characters from the Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts universe...