Tag Archives: SAJCC

Talk on WWII Japanese American internment camps in Arizona

Many people still come up to me and say that they had no idea that there were two large internment camps in Arizona (at Gila River and Poston) during WWII. These camps in the desert were created as a result of President Franklin Roosevelt signing E.O. 9066 which impacted over 120,000 Japanese Americans, 2/3 of whom were U.S. citizens (like my father, living in Los Angeles). Fortunately my father became a “voluntary evacuee”, as he  was not interned, but fled to Chicago, where he attended Loyola University and worked as a postal clerk.

Retired UA East Asian Studies Professor Min Yanagihashi has written a recent paper on this subject, and will give this free talk on April 11 at Himmel Park Library. He is Nisei (2nd generation) from Honolulu, Hawaii. Light Japanese refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition, where Min and I are on the Council.  More at www.southernazjapan.org.

I also personally knew Dr. Robert Omata and Larry Iwami, fathers of my friends who were interned at Gila River.

Photo Gallery of 2017 Tucson Japanese Festival

Tucson Japanese Festival (new name) was held on January 14, 2017 at PCC Downtown, 1255 N. Stone Ave. to celebrate the New Year.

For the 4th year, Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC) sponsored a New Year’s festival featuring numerous performances and once again, mochi pounding (from rice). Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers and Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson were festival co-sponsors.

Origami paper folding was taught and Go, fukuwarai and kendama games were played upstairs in the campus center building.  Also on display were ikebana flower arrangements, bonsai from the Tucson Bonsai Club, and calligraphy.   Photos below courtesy of freelance photographer James Tokishi, except for last 4 photos by M. Fumie Craig.

Odaiko Sonora doing the welcome at the New Year's festival

Odaiko Sonora doing the welcome at the Tucson Japanese New Year’s festival

Mochi (rice) pounding in stone usu and wooden kine

Mochi (rice) pounding in stone usu with wooden kine

Tucson Kendo Kai performing this skill

Tucson Kendo Kai ready to perform their skills

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Photo gallery of 3rd Annual Japanese Mochitsuki celebration

The Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC, of which I am the website Editor) held our 3rd Annual Tucson Mochitsuki celebration for Japanese New Year’s  at PCC Downtown , 1255 N. Stone Avenue on Saturday, January 9. This event has grown from its inception 3 years ago at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, then to last year at Rhythm Industry Performance Factory, home of the popular Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers.  This popular taiko troupe help open the celebration’s festivities.

Odaiko Sonora doing the opening welcome. Photo credit Brandy Gannon

Odaiko Sonora preparing to do the opening welcome. Photo credit Brandy Gannon

Odaiko Sonora performing,photo credit James Tokishi

Odaiko Sonora performing, photo credit James Tokishi

Odaiko Sonora drummers at 2016 Mochitsuki, photo credit James Tokishi

Odaiko Sonora drummers at 2016 Mochitsuki, photo credit James Tokishi

Here are more photos of the event, focused on the Japanese tradition of cooking, mashing, pounding rice into mochi cakes.  Samples of the mochi were provided to attendees (oshiruku soup), along with a festival atmosphere of various Japanese cultural activities, performances, games, and information.

Video of Odaiko Sonora performance and other activities by freelancer James Tokishi:

https://www.facebook.com/AzBunbunmaru/videos/577442482414877/?theater

Usu (mortar) and kine (mallet) before the pounding. Photo credit James Tokishi

Usu (mortar) and kine (mallet) before the pounding. Photo credit James Tokishi

Mochi pounding, photo credit James Tokishi

Mochi pounding, photo credit James Tokishi

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2016 Japanese New Year’s Mochitsuki celebration

 The Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC) invites the Tucson Community to the 3rd Annual Mochitsuki.
finalmochitsukiLearn about Japanese New Year’s rice pounding tradition on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at Pima Community College Downtown campus, 1255 N. Stone Ave. at NW corner of Stone and Speedway. 11 AM to 3 PM.
$5 adults & children under 5 free. Attendees should use the westside parking lots.

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Japanese Speech Contest in 12th year

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Mark your calendars for the upcoming 12th Annual Japanese Language Speech Contest on 4/26/14, from noon-5:00 p.m. at Pima Community College NW Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Rd. , Building G. Students studying the Japanese language in middle, high and college level compete for prizes.

The afternoon features: speech contest, cosplay contest (first ever), exhibitions and performances. You don’t want to miss it. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers and Suzuyuki Kai traditional Japanese dance group will be performing.

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