The theme for this year’s event is “Friends.” One of our first year Japanese students designed a sweatshirt for our Japanese program, and she used the symbol, “Friends,” and her classmates loved the design. In fact, we decided to use “friends” as our festival theme this year.
During the festival, the highlight event is always the cultural performance at Washburn Performance Art Center Auditorium between 1:00pm to 2:30pm. This year, we are inviting professional performers to share Taiko drums, Okoto string instruments, and traditional dance on the stage. The Taiko drummers are elementary school students from Portland, Oregon. They came to perform last year, and they are coming back this year as well. Their performance is inspiring for anyone to see because it vividly shows that they practice rigorously.
Moreover, there will be Kimono demonstrators, and they are the newcomers for the festival this year. They are Japanese ladies from Japan and volunteer to show their Kimono dresses and explain why and how they are wearing them. This should be very interesting because a set of Kimono dresses is very expensive and it is rare to see and hear the Japanese ladies reveal why and how on the stage.
At the commons, there will be cultural displays and demonstrations including how to experience a flower arrangement and calligraphy, how to learn Kendo swordsmanship, and how to create Origami paper crafts. There will be Japanese food dishes; for instance, Curry & Rice, Udon noodle soup, Okonomiyaki pizza, Green tea ice cream, Ramune drinks, and snacks. Also, we will sell raffle tickets. The prizes will be a gift certificate from Uwajimaya (a Japanese grocery store), Japanese products, and other items donated by local Japanese companies.
Everything including the concert tickets, raffle tickets, and food items are all under $5 each. Approximately 150 to 200 people attend the festival every year. We are looking forward to seeing you all!