I still remember asking my first group of Japanese students where they were from. I remember this because one girl responded: “I’m from Toyota.” “Toyota…like the car?” I asked. Yes. Toyota like the car. It seems silly now, but, at the time, it fascinated me.
[Kasuga-kun letting the kids check out the real scope of his blaster]
Litlle did I know that, in a few months’ time, I, too, would go to where the cars came from. Not to buy a car, of course, but because an imperial force had been requested.
[Little boys often run away from troopers, crying...but little girls? They love stormtroopers, and Vader, too! ]
In Tokyo, there are sometimes multiple events in a week. This might be a problem for some garrisons, but the Japanese Garrison is really active, and they don’t seem to have any trouble finding troopers for events with a reasonable time table.
[Little girl shaking hands with Darth Vader]
But in Aichi Prefecture…we just didn’t have events. Nor did we have troopers. I was alone and costumeless there. But when the Toyota Festival asked for a presence from the 501st, troopers proured in from as far east as Tokyo, and as far west as Osaka. So I got to see some old faces, and meet some new ones, too!
I had been a little confused as to if the festival was a town festival or a company festival, but I came to understand that it’s a moot point. Everybody who lives in Toyota, works for Toyota…and most people who work for Toyota, live in Toyota. It was a festival for the families, with all sorts of local fair activities, from giant bouncy castles and small rides to arts and crafts, costumed character appearances and shopping aisles for snacks and souvenirs (which are often synonomous in Japan).
We had great weather and the people were all very nice. All in all, it was a fun troop, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend an event in Aichi.
Also, I had some great group photos that I totally forgot to upload at work…but I have no Internet at home right now, so… Shouganai, ne?