My Day at the Hunky Buddha Pagaent
Last Sunday it was Easter and the Hunky Jesus Pagaent in Mission Dolores Park. This Sunday it was the Hunky Buddhist Pagaent on Post Street in Japantown. Well, it wasn't really, but the last big entry in today's Cherry Blossom Parade came at the end of its two hour duration with a bunch of grunting, chanting Japanese men in loin cloths. This was definitely a lot more fun and sexy and sweet at the same time than those dreadful fetish fairs down on Folsom Street and Dore Alley. And while the men at those festival in their harnesses resemble an array of Easter hams, the Cherry Blossom Parade featured various drummers, shrine hoisters, swordsmen and others who looked yummy in their loin cloths.
Add to all of that two parade grand marshals -- George Takei and Hello Kitty -- and it was a day that made me forgive the heat.
I attended with Bryce Digdug who gave a shout to George that was rewarded with the above wave from his convertible. When I leaned ahead to the right and let Bryce know that I could see a certain eight foot mouthless feline with a pink ribbon below her ear, Bryce nearly knocked me over with excitement.
Some other highlights:
* The kids of the bilingual (Japanese-English) Rosa Parks Academy in a big pirate ship singing "We Are Family". Bryce and I agree that we need to make a career shift and be the music/dance instructors at Rosa Parks and teach those kiddos some of our favorite hits from the 1970s and 1980s. Expect to see them singing "I Want Candy" and "I Eat Cannibals" at next year's parade.
* A seemingly endless contingent of people in anime costumes.
* Several contingents of buff drummers beating their instruments with full force with long sticks.
* Most of our gay or gay-positive local politicians. Mark Leno looked especially tan and happy, and I never realized he is Japanese.
During the parade, a very nice Japanese-American woman named Joanne chatted up Bryce and me and gave some helpful insights about the anime characters. At one point she said, "I want you two to know that I am completely accepting and tolerant of your people." After she left, I turned to Bryce and said, "Well, I certainly hope she wasn't implying that I'm Norwegian too."
Afterwards, we braved the crowds and heat of the "mall" and I got these bits of loveliness at the Kinokuniya Bookstore. My favorite clerk waited on me, and, as usual, she was wearing her gas mask. Expect to see these as part of the sets in an upcoming Junk Thief TV Episode.
In the meantime, here is a video review of the day's parade.