We, especially Toshi, are up to our eyeballs in preparation for the JASV's 17th Matsuri '15 (Visit their website at jasv.org for detailed information.). For my part, I've managed to solicit donations of gift cards from some local businesses to be used as door prizes and such. Aside from selling and signing books I will be setting up a small exhibit highlighting Japanese "Containers." Choosing which to display is fun, but preparing labels and signs is not my favorite pastime.
I hope my exhibit will broaden the world of each person who visits it. Think about what a container is. Likely, the first thing that comes to your mind is a milk container, or plastic Tupperware, or maybe the large steel shipping containers that we often see being transported on trains, planes and big rigs. But in between there's a whole world of containers of all sizes and materials - bamboo, glass, wood, clay, fabric, metal, paper and so on. Stretch your mind a bit and think about the myriad of other containers in our lives. Hint: An envelope is a container for a letter. The Japanese have fascinating containers. Many of them are art whether superbly decorated or left plain for us to admire the material from which they were made and the skill of the creator.
If you're in the area on April 19th and can come to Matsuri, you and your family will have a wonderful time and learn a lot about Japan at the same time. Don't forget to come over to my "corner" and introduce yourself. We've had visitors come to Matsuri from all the surrounding states and sometimes from even farther away.
Time for me to get some work done. Happy reading.