The very first Japan Expo in the US was held Aug 23-25 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Murasame-kai had a booth there, and also gave a panel and Karuta demo on stage.
Here’s the group photo of Murasame-kai members and our special guests who helped through the event.
At the booth, we laid tatami mats on the floor and played Karuta as we usually do at our regular practice. The only difference was that all these anime characters from Sailor Moon, NARUTO, and Attack on Titan, and such stopped by and watched us play.
Then, it was the time for stage performance!
The first half of the program was the panel discussion by Murasame-kai members and friends who started playing Karuta after they watched Chihayafuru anime and got inspired from it. They talked about their love for Chihayafuru and shared their experiences of playing Karuta themselves. Here’s the 30 min. full video from the panel.
The last half was Karuta demonstration by “Real-life Chihayas”, two pretty young ladies who are the best players of Murasame-kai. We preplanned the first few cards to be read so we could explain the basic rules and techniques of Karuta, but for the remaining cards, the players had no idea what cards were going to be given to them or the order of the cards to be read. Still, they ended up having the Fatal Match at the end (only one card left in each territory). All the audiences were so engaged in watching them play from the beginning to the end. Here’s full video of the demonstration.
I myself was too busy, being the moderator and also the reciter, to fully enjoy these programs at the time. By watching these videos now I finally got to truly appreciate what great jobs we all did.
Many, many thanks to all those who helped out with this event!
We will resume our regular practice in September. The next practice will be help on Sep 7 Sat. Please see Activities for details.