Gakuen Obon Festival took place on June 26, 2010 in Sun Valley. Valley
Gakuen is a Japanese school that preserves Japanese tradition, culture,
and arts. Every year, the Obon Festival takes place. Obon is part of
Japanese Buddhist tradition in which the living remember their deceased
ancestors. Scarlet Rhapsody heard about the Obon Festival from Pacific
Media Expo. PMX was sponsoring a cosplay contest, anime
music videos showing, and a swap meet at the festival. Because we had
a few things to sell prior to Anime Expo, we decided to attend as swap
meet dealers. To celebrate in the spirit of both traditional and popular
culture, we dressed up as our favorite shingami from the anime series,
The event attracted a few local cosplayers from the San Fernando valley. There were maybe about 20 or so high school aged cosplayers in attendance. Pacific Media Expo also had an anime music video showing, but it was the same several AMVs that were shown on a loop. A few were pretty good ("Naturally" / Escaflowne, "Just Dance" / Sailor Moon, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"" / Mini Goddesses), but hearing "First Love" set to Inuyasha got tiresome.
There was a cosplay contest that took place at 6PM. Prizes packages included swag from Mugi Bunny, Anime Jungle, and Sugoi Life. Cash prizes were handed out to the first, second, and third place winners.
Of course, there were about several tables (including our's) that sold off old anime wares. Our table was pretty successful in selling some of our old anime goods. I sold off a few of my costumes that went to new owners. After all, Anime Expo is just around the corner.
My favorite part about the festival was the food. If you are really into sampling new food, this was the place to be. I kept coming back for gyoza ($1 for four pieces) and odango ($2 for 8 pieces). There was also ramen place that had spicy ramen in a soy based broth. The noddles were thicker, but Jared and I enjoyed the ramen.
There were several events going on outside. I could not see everything, but there were taiko drums, karate demonstration, and a dance to culminate the Obon Festival. Cessie, a gal who was helping us sell at the swap meet, said it best. "This is like a smaller version of Nissei Week!"
Overall, though Scarlet Rhapsody attended as swap meet dealers, we had a nice time at the festival. We made lots of money in the swap meet. Many thanks to Cessie for helping us out at our table. Many thanks to Paula and Todd for setting us up with a swap meet table at the last minute. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table. In addition, many thanks to Valley Gakuen for an awesome summer festival. I would reccomend this event to San Fernando valley locals who enjoy Japanese culture - both old and new.
Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rhapsody. If I took your picture, feel free to use it on your site or cosplay gallery. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Karate. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the image resizing and watermarking program.