These are people gathered in Hing Hay Park in Seattle’s International District to celebrate the Lunar New Year and witness dragon and lion dances, Taiko drumming, and martial arts performances.
In his opening remarks, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray reminded us all of how a mob rounded up Chinese from this very neighborhood on February 7, 1886, and tried to force them aboard a steamship for passage out of Seattle. And how the Japanese, many of whom were American citizens, were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses the week of April 28, 1942, an expulsion authorized by Executive Order 9066, which President Roosevelt had signed on February 19, 1942.
And so despite DT’s cruel, mean-spirited, and un-American actions of this past week, Mayor Murray asserted that as we celebrate the rich, diverse cultures of this Asian community, Seattle remains committed to being a welcoming city for refugees and immigrants in need.
Happy Lunar New Year and welcome to the Year of the Rooster. Those born under this Chinese Zodiac sign are said to be loyal, trustworthy, confident, and sociable. Some say a rooster can also be pompous—always bragging about himself and his accomplishments. This reminds me of someone who shall remain nameless.
Drawn with an Apple Pencil, using the Procreate app on an iPad.
Happened to watch an episode of the new NBC game show, The Wall, which reminded me of this pachinko parlor in Tokyo. The Wall features an oversized version of the pachinko board, which operates like a vertical pinball machine. In pachinko, one or more steel balls are launched to the top of the playing field, which is filled with brass pins. Entering the field at the top, the steel balls fall freely, bouncing and careening from one pin to another, and finally entering one of several cups at the bottom. Upon entering a pachinko parlor, one is greeted with the chime-like sounds of the falling steel balls from hundreds of pachinko machines.
While the recent cold snap is easing a bit here in Seattle with temperatures returning to the upper 30s, I still miss the warmth and fragrance of Hawaii. During our recent trip there, I did this quick 20-minute sketch while waiting for the weekly Friday performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band on the grounds of Iolani Palace. King Kamehameha III founded the brass band in 1836, which is now considered to be the oldest, full-time municipal band in the U.S. I still remember as a child growing up in Honolulu attending their Sunday afternoon concerts at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand in Waikiki.