Yesterday Jan. 20, 2018 our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC) sponsored another New Year celebration, for the 5th year, now calling it Tucson Japanese Festival (instead of Tucson Mochitsuki — named for the mochi (rice) pounding, which is demonstrated every year).
The festival was held once again for 3rd year at Pima Community College downtown (1125 N. Stone Ave.), with musical & dance performances on the stage in the Amethyst Room and activities outside on the patio, and Japanese games/origami upstairs in the Campus Center. Japanese food was for sale, and samples of green tea and mochi were provided to the 1000 plus attendees.
Here’s some photos of the festival, courtesy of various photographers.
Traditional Japanese New Year’s display of mochi (white rice cakes) with an orange fruit on top, photo courtesy M Craig
Mochi pounding demonstration outside of PCC Downtown campus center, photo courtesy Teena Werley
More mochi pounding, photo courtesy James Tokishi
PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert giving welcome remarks, courtesy of James Tokishi
Soulful Sumi Calligraphy by Akiko Victorson, with Master of Ceremonies Louis Rivera, photo courtesy of Louis
Kyudo (Japanese archery) display, photo courtesy M Craig
Tucson Japanese Language School kids’ choir on stage, photo courtesy James Tokishi
Supa Lani-chan (aka Lani Villanueva) explaining popular Japanese manga/anime, photo courtesy of Louis Rivera
Traditional Japanese dancers Hideko Espinosa and Yumiko Foss, courtesy of Suzuyuki Kai and photographer Breanna Pena
SAJCC volunteers Louis Entwistle and Crystal Akazawa (our graphic designer) serving Japanese green tea, photo courtesy M Craig
Japanese items (chopsticks) and snacks for sale, photo courtesy of M Craig
Origami paper folding upstairs in the PCC campus center, photo courtesy of Teena Werley (her son in the foreground)
Japanese game of fukuwarai (arranging features of face while blindfolded) taught by Chi Nakano, courtesy of M Craig
Festival finale performance by Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers, photo courtesy Louis Rivera
Thank you to the SAJCC Council, cohost Odaiko Sonora, festival committee & volunteers for putting on this event. And gratitude again to our donors for their generosity — Ginza Sushi, Sachiko Sushi, Raijin Ramen (new), Sushi on Oracle, Sushi Cortaro on River, Island Plate Lunch, Lee Lee International Supermarket, and Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson.
It was another successful New Year’s festival, for 2018. Happy New Year of the Dog.