Pussy Pride

Japanese cultural festival honors lucky cat

What's lucky to one person can seem ridiculous to everyone else. New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez thinks his beard is a good luck charm so he won't shave. Actress Penelope Cruz eats pancakes during awards season to ensure a nomination. And that tacky little knickknack of a waving cat you see at Asian restaurants? That's Maneki Neko, an ancient Japanese symbol of luck and mascot of the 26th Annual Matsuri Festival

Look for martial arts and swordplay demonstrations, taiko drummers, tons of Japanese eats, and storytellers regaling visitors with legends of the festival's signature kitty. For this year’s event, local mask maker Zarco Guerrero will craft special face art to be used in the fest’s dragon dance. "It is my way of giving back some of the wonderful and magical gifts given to me by the Japanese people and its vibrant culture," says Guerrero.


Sat., Feb. 27, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 28, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 2010
 
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