Summer Matsuri (Festival)


Hello all!  As promised, I finished piecing back together my scanned painting before I uploaded it here.  Today has been unbearably hot and the computer is not liking the heat at all.  I think Josh has become completely nocturnal for this reason alone.  Two computers in a small room can actually make it pretty warm even with two mini fans and one larger one on the floor.

Regarding the title, a “matsuri” is a street festival that usually happens in the summer in Japan.  I remember when I visited relatives as a pre-teen going to one of these and enjoying trying to catch goldfish with weak miniature nets, eating cotton candy, wearing a ukata (summer version of a kimono- a lot less work to put on), and sporting a uchiha/round hand-held fan.  I also remember festivals we would throw at our Japanese School in Long Beach, California, USA which involved many of the same games as well as a huge tower in the center of the playground with a large drum (taiko) at the top… this would be played while they blasted music from speakers.  Everyone would dance around this in a circle with their fans or just doing the hand jestures.  Sounds pretty bizarre I suppose, but these were some of my favorite memories growing up.  Granted getting up every morning on a Saturday while your American schoolmates got to sleep in sucked, but I now, of course, find it all worth while.  We had speech contests and Christmas plays, Boys and Girls Day, and other fun events to help keep our heritage alive way out in California.
Anyway, this scene isn’t exactly authentic…. the thing the boy is carrying on his back is a smaller taiko drum wrapped around him, with the sticks held to his belly.  I’m not sure if people would do this… taiko drums are pretty darn heavy… so imagine this is a bit fantastical… aside from the children playing on rooftops!
So here’s to summer!! :)

About maiskemble

I am a published author/illustrator of children's books. I live and work in Long Beach, CA with my husband, comic book artist/t-shirt designer, Joshua Kemble.

One comment

  1. you have some really amazing art here! great job, keep it up!

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