The first weekend in July was summer festival at my older daughter’s Japanese school. The teachers and parents put together some traditional summer festival activities (natsu matsuri) as well as celebrated Tanabata ,or the star festival, according to a legend about two lovers separated by the Milky Way who can only meet once a year.
Natsu Matsuri included traditional games, such as fishing for water balloons (yo-yo fusen tsuri) out of a pool, as well as scooping up little toys with a sukui or a frame with a paper screen across the surface. This is a variation of a traditional Japanese game called “kingyo sukui” or literally, goldfish scooping. Once the paper (thin paper, such as rice paper) becomes wet, (the toys are floating in a kiddie-pool) it rips easily. Therefore, it requires quick and precise wrist action by the participant – I never had much luck scooping up more than one item during my scooping days!
Handmade orange juice sherbet was shaken until frozen by the attendees, and everyone had an opportunity to participate in the suika wari, or essentially, watermelon “pinata.”
I’ve attached action shots of my older daughter in her yukata as well as the little one in her jinbei sent by Jiji and Baba in Japan. The older one also tried her hand at suika wari where the participant is blind-folded, spun around three times, and the spectators call out as to where they should go to, and swing to hit the watermelon. The picture of my older daughter made me chuckle – she looks more mature than her age, looking pretty sharp in that pose!