Yesterday, Sunday September 20th the JASGP partnered with the Japanese House, (or Shofuso if you’re in the know) to put on a Japan Day festival. The aim was to promote education of common things in Japanese culture. It was a busy and successful day with a good turn out for a first time event. We weren’t really sure what to expect on how many will attend but by the end of the day there had been many people there and a lot of good times.
I was there manning the info desk, telling people about our programs and events. But we also had items for sale, such as shirts and kimonos.
There were quite a bit of activities on the roster for the day, including Taiko Drumming performances, Origami, Calligraphy, Kimono Dressing Demonstrations, and Go Demos.
One of our activities to do at Japan Day was origami, where we had our own Matt and Hitomi Meyer doing demonstrations and helping people make various origami folds, from the original cranes to the cool and seasonal ghosts and spiders.
There was a man who stopped by the Origami station who could make the smallest crane I have ever seen and it was amazing.
There was also a calligraphy station, where you could get your name written in a traditional Japanese way. During parts of the day it got pretty windy, which made it a challenge! Ink and paper do not mix well with strong winds.
Down in the actual park, there were two performances by the Taiko Drummers and while I couldn’t personally go see them, it was hard not the hear banging drums from the performers. After they had finished their set, they allowed the audience to take part and play on the drums themselves. They were holding demonstrations with watchers turning into the players. It was great seeing the professionals getting everyone involved. What is a better way to promote education about Japanese things then by providing a way to learn by doing?
In the early afternoon they started setting up for the kimono demonstration, which was the part that I was most excited about. Anything about Japanese dress almost always interests me, and they for sure did not disappoint.
It was a great day filled with a lots of people and fun things to do. I am glad I was apart of the first time doing this event and I can’t wait to see how it grows from here on out.