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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Japan Day NYC 2014 -- JERO

Finally doing an actual update (with pictures! Ahhhh!)

This year has been really trying for me, mentally, emotionally.. and May is proving itself to be one of the WORST months so far.

But~ that didn't mean I didn't have at least ONE good day where I managed to go out and enjoy myself for once!

Japan Day NYC is an annual event that happens every May/June, right at the end of cherry blossom season. It's a pretty huge event, drawing thousands of people from all across that wants a bit of Japanese culture. From kimono/yukata dressing, to kabuki facepaint, to Hello Kitty, and then of course all of the Japanese street food stands.

I usually never go to Japan Day because of the crowds and because how early everything ends compared to other festivals. BUT the one thing that did draw me was the fact that the special performance for this year was going to be Jero. If you don't know him, he is from Pittsburgh PA, and is the first black Enka (Japanese blues) singer in Japanese music history. He is very handsome, and is known for bringing a more 'contemporary, worldly' look to enka music, which is usually old-fashionded down to the stage outfits. For some reason or another it's a bit difficult to really pull up his activity online, so that is the main reason why I wanted to go this year.

So as always, I pulled out my yukata, put my face on, got my hair together, and went out. I met up with one of the local gals Hannah who was donning her new yukata oiran-style like I was.

I didn't get too many pictures asides from a few of us that I have reserved for later, and then the performance photos, but enjoy them anyways!

Jero prepping to go on stage.

Brief introduction

I also uploaded some clips from Jero's performance onto my Youtube channel~

I'm not too keen on Japanese music (it's the way a lot of people sing, especially with their pop genres), enka is definitely for people with an acquired taste! But the slightly contemporary feel of Jero's music helps me warm up to it a bit more.

(I also like Jero's outfit of choice--- is it weird to mention that? xD The pinkish color with the blue? It's kind of like a cobalt blue, it was a pretty combination. Keeping that color scheme in mind for later~)

Once he was done with his own songs, he quickly got changed for the NY bon odori (which the song made for Japan Day was pretty corny, but heh). The group that was singing with him were the Japanese club/class from LaGuardia High School.. when they mentioned that, I had painful flashbacks from my time there, aha x ___x

The beginning of the dance. I have -some- video but not a lot. We were in the middle of the sun and the heat started to become a little unbearable!

Unfortunately we couldn't get a picture with him, which would've been so cool! But of course he was tired (and all that sun beaming down while he was performing), plus a crowd was kind of forming so if he took a picture with us, then he would have to do take a picture with everyone. But he was super sweet in person! And he had such good skin = w= the best of both worlds I bet~ so handsome After the festival was pretty much over, I brought Hannah and her boyfriend to Village Yokocho in St. Mark's for some grilled and fried goodness. As usual, I got my pumpkin and onion kushiage, along with a spicy tuna bowl. Then I also split some okonomiyaki with Hannah and her boyfriend. Needless to say we could barely eat it all..

All that goodness.. At the end of all that walking, standing, and eating pretty much killed us but Hannah got this nice photo of us at the end, which came out pretty nice!

Hoping for a super cool summer! 

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