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.
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014.
Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter.
She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).