Following the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902, the Japan Diet (parliament) voted to sponsor an exhibition in London, in the hope of fostering new trade agreements, The Japan-British Exhibition of 1910 (Nichi-Ei Hakuran-kai) was held at White City in London. Two Japanese gardens were built as part of the exhibition.
A century on, and the Japanese Garden in Hammersmith Park had been kept. The Japanese Embassy in London sponsored an event in commemoration of the centenary of the Japan-British Exhibition. Part of the celebration was a Japanese Garden Party (Mini Matsuri) in the original garden. It was a family event, encouraging everyone to come and enjoy the stalls and displays. As it turned out, the weather was glorious.
The British Shorinji Kempo Federation had taken part in other cultural events organised by the Japan Embassy, and we were once again invited to put on a performance. As well as martial arts demonstrations, there was also a Taiko (drumming) demonstration, Okinawan Eisa (dancing) and Japanese busking.
The Shorinji Kempo demonstration was given by Mizuno sensei and some of the Mayfair and UCL kenshi. It was a busy weekend, since the day before, many of the participants were in Cambridge for a seminar there.
Stuart and Mitsuko put on an embu display, while Ian and Felix showed their excellent tanto (Japanese knife) embu. Mizuno sensei ended the display with a demonstration of Shorinji Kempo's six-foot staff (bo) techniques.
As can be seen in the photographs, it was a very enjoyable afternoon. The BSKF is proud to help at Japanese cultural events in the UK, and we hope to be able to continue to do so.