Tag Archives: Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition

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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Happy New Year 2018

2018 has arrived and it is the Year of the Dog in our Asian zodiac calendar (of 12 animals).  In their order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig.  Here’s a preview of some upcoming events in Tucson:

Tucson Japanese Festival celebrating the New Year on Jan. 20, 2018 at PCC Downtown (1 to 5 p.m.).  Sponsored by our So. AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition:  www.southernazjapan.org, where I am the website Editor.


Chinese New Year of the Dog at Tucson Mall on Feb. 10, 2018 (11 to 8 p.m.).  Sponsored by Tucson Chinese Cultural Center (of which I am a member),  website:  www.tucsonchinese.org.

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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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Tucson Japanese Festival to celebrate the New Year 2017

tjffinal2Our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (of which I have been the website Editor for 4 years) is sponsoring another New Year’s festival on January 14, 2017, at PCC Downtown campus, 1255 N. Stone Ave., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is our fourth Japanese New Year’s celebration in Tucson.

Once again we are offering Japanese martial arts & musical performances (on 2 stages this year), cultural activities and games, delicious Japanese snacks, tea, takoyaki (octopus) balls, and other cultural information.  Mochi rice pounding will be again performed with the kine (mallet) in the stone or wooden usu (bowl).  See photo below from last year’s popular event.  Event schedule also posted below.

Mochi pounding at 2016 Japanese New Year's Mochitsuki, photo courtesy of James Tokishi

Mochi pounding at 2016 Japanese New Year’s Mochitsuki, photo courtesy of James Tokishi

Updates will be on our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/tucsonmochi/, with event schedule, listing of numerous Japanese restaurant door prizes, performers.  Come watch co-sponsor Odaiko Sonora perform their lively taiko drumming.

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Loft Film Fest – Nov. 9 to 13, 2016


Entire film schedule of 40 independent films listed at:

PASSES ON SALE NOW! General: $125 | Loft Members: $100

“Passholders will have priority seating and a guaranteed seat 20 minutes prior to all screenings in Screen 1.  Passholders who want to attend a screening in Screen 3 are asked to get a free ticket at the box office to guarantee a seat.

Member-level passes are available to current Loft Cinema members only. If you select the member-level pass, your information will be cross-checked against our records. One pass per member. Passes are non-transferable, and may be used by one person only. Passes will be available for pick-up at the box office starting November 9. Passes will not be mailed and must be picked up by the purchaser or giftee (matching ID required). Questions? Contact us at 520-322-5638, or info@loftcinema.org”

Loft Cinema is at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. in Tucson, Arizona.

Carolyn’s note: My group the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition is a Community Partner for two Japanese films showing in this fest:  “After the Storm” on Nov. 10, and “Creepy” on Nov. 11.   Check out the trailers for both films on the Loft’s website.

See you at the movies.

Learn about Japanese Americans in Hawaii

Retired East Asian Professor Min Yanagihashi has written a paper entitled “Japanese Americans in Hawaii: Acculturation & Assimilation”  about the toils and triumphs of the hard working Issei (1st generation immigrants), Nisei (2nd generation born in Hawaii), and us Sansei (3rd generation), Yonsei (4th generation), etc.  Find out more by attending an informative upcoming panel discussion on Nov. 3rd, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave.

I grew up in Hawaii, after my grandparents emigrated from Japan in 1892 and 1910 to become indentured sugar plantation workers. My parents were born there in the Trust Territory of Hawaii, as U.S. Citizens. Yet my father Francis Sueo Sugiyama was discriminated against following the attack on Pearl Harbor, because of his race –expelled as a dental student by the University of Southern California. He fled to Chicago and avoided the mass internment, but got admitted to the University of Md. Dental School and finished his degree, years later.  He then returned to Hawaii and practiced dentistry & orthodontics on the Big Island of Hawaii for 30 years.


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