Tag Archives: Japanese culture

Annual Tucson Japanese Festival on January 20, 2018

Want to sample & eat Japanese food? Watch taiko & dance performances and kendo demonstrations? Learn to fold origami? Draw calligraphy? Learn about origins of manga and anime in Japan?

All this and much, much more at this 2018 New Year’s celebration, the fifth sponsored by our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition and Odaiko Sonora.  Name change from Tucson Mochitsuki to Tucson Japanese Festival last year, so hence it is the 2nd Annual.  Performance schedule flyer (updated 1/17/18) below.

Mochi making and pounding from rice will be demonstrated.  Join us to learn about Japanese culture in Japan and in the U.S.

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Celebrate 5th Anniversary of Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson

On January 15, 2013 Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson formally opened its doors to showcase a beautiful, tranquil Japanese Garden in the Southwest desert of Tucson, Arizona.  Celebrate it’s 5th anniversary on Sat. January 13, 2018.  “Yume” means dream in Japanese, which it was as the creation by Owner/E.D. Patricia Deridder, who lived in Japan for 15 years.

Odaiko Sonora, Tucson’s taiko drumming group (pictured below), will be performing at 1:30 and 3 p.m.  UPDATE: Schedule below.

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Annual Ikebana Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens

Don’t miss 15th anniversary celebration of Rogue Taiko at Rogue Theater

“Odaiko Sonora celebrates their 15th Anniversary at The Rogue Theatre (300 E. University Blvd. in Tucson) with two concerts, 2:00pm and 7:30pm on October 7.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and will be available from any Odaiko Sonora member, by calling The Rogue Theatre box office (520) 551-2053, or online at www.theroguetheatre.org.”
More info on taiko drumming troupe Odaiko Sonora at www.tucsontaiko.org.

Children’s Day celebration at Yume Japanese Gardens

“Japanese parents so cherish their sons and daughters that in 1948 they set aside the fifth day of every May as a national holiday to celebrate the health and happiness of their youngsters. Children of all ages and persuasions in Tucson will follow suit on Saturday, May 6, at the fourth annual Children’s Day Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson opened in January 2013 as Southern Arizona’s only authentic Japanese gardens. Each May since, the non-profit has attracted hundreds to its Children’s Day Festival, with traditional Japanese wooden toys, goldfish netting, yukata (summer-weight kimonos) for youngsters to wear, and handicrafts, such as origami (paper folding).

New activities this year include showing children how to make bento: box-shaped containers that are universal in Japan for carrying home-packed meals to school or work. Bento kits, assembly lessons, chopsticks, and rice and other food for the boxes will be for sale for $15.

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New Otaku Festival of Modern Japan coming to Yume Japanese Gardens

 Otaku Festival of  Modern Japan coming to Yume Japanese Gardens on March 4, 2017

“Tell a Westerner that Japanese youth are into costumed role playing, and what comes to mind may be an image of a teenage geisha in kimono.

Far from it, however. The hippest hobby in Japan today is “cosplay.” That’s a portmanteau word that describes making up and suiting up to adopt – and in the most extreme cases, even live out – the activities of characters in Japanese cartoons, anime movies, music videos, and manga comics. The most obsessed, full-time fans form a genuine subculture that Japanese social scientists call “otaku.”

Southern Arizona’s own lively cosplay community will turn out in flashy ensembles, elaborate headgear, and accessories in an Otaku Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson on March 4, 2017, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Yume is Tucson’s only authentic Japanese garden and the southernmost of more than 250 in the U.S. and Canada.

Festival goers can mingle with role players in outlandish outfits inspired by Japanese pop music stars, inspect others in fluffy skirts and petticoats in imitation of “Lolita” comic characters, and watch a screened showing of cosplay favorite Hatsune Miku, a “vocaloid,” or humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application.

Rounding out the day’s activities will be an origami (paper-folding) workshop, a display of action and musical Hatsune Miku figurines, a show of flamboyant Japanese street fashion, and an exhibition of another of Japan’s latest enthusiasms: BJDs, or poseable dolls with ball and joint sockets. They have a distinctly Asian aesthetic with often eerily lifelike features, and are customizable, collectible, and cost up to hundreds of dollars.”

Admission to the Otaku Festival is $10. Yume Japanese Gardens are located at 2130 N. Alvernon Way, one block south of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, and are open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday, weather permitting.

For more information about the Gardens and the festival, visit www.yumegardens.org or telephone (520) 272-3200.

Carolyn’s note: Yume gardens opened in January 2013 and has been hosting a number of Japanese themed festivals including origami, ikebana, scrolls, kimono, etc.   Also March 3rd is Girls’ Day in Japanese culture, so celebrate and honor the girls in your life.