Our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition sponsored our 6th annual New Year’s Tucson Japanese Festival on Jan. 20, 2019 at the a new location, the lovely Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. We seemed to have outgrown PCC Downtown where we hosted the 3rd, 4th and 5th festivals.
The highlight again was the mochi pounding (from rice), making and sampling.
This festival was a huge success with about 2000 people attending, and several dance/music performances, martial arts group demos, exhibitors (including Southern Arizona Koi Assn.), tea ceremonies, the art of kimono, children’s games (Go, kendama, fukuwarai), and of course, delicious Japanese food for sale and sample. As publicity chair, I was astounded at the # of attendees, considering that most information went out via FB or online, and not in print.
Photos below taken by M. Fumie Craig, founder of Tucson Origami Club and MC Louis Rivera, except for one by volunteer Teena Werley, which are all captioned.
Mochi display for New Year’s, courtesy M Fumie Craig
Volunteers serving mochi samples with kinako, courtesy M Fumie Craig
SAJCC Director Yuki Ibuki welcoming the audience, courtesy of Louis Rivera
koi on display by Southern Arizona Koi Association, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Tucson Japanese Language School display, courtesy M Fumie Craig
Students from Tucson Japanese Language School singing on stage, courtesy of Louis Rivera
Jennifer Shioya making musubi (rice balls) for Japanese Language School, photo courtesy of Teena Werley
Patricia Deridder, executive director of Yume Japanese Gardens with ikebana display, photo courtesy of Yume gardens
Odaiko Sonora performing taiko drumming, courtesy of Louis Rivera. Founder Karen Falkenstrom in front.
Suzuyuki Kai dance troupe, with founder Mari Kaneta third from left, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Suzuyuki Kai dancers performing on the stage, courtesy Louis Rivera
Takoyaki (octopus balls)and ramen booth, always very popular, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Owner Tomomi Katz serving takoyaki at her food truck, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Attorney Paul Gattone with his Tucson Kendo Kai group, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Creative and colorful origami cranes & butterflies, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Volunteers from Tucson Origami Club folding for the festival. L-R back row: Rebecca Howey, Carolyn Classen (yours truly), Nobuko Blair. Front row: Nancy ?, courtesy of M Fumie Craig
Happy New Year of the Pig. Thanks to our many Council members, volunteers, co-sponsors (Odaiko Sonora, Tucson Chinese Cultural Center), donors, friends for supporting our SAJCC and this annual fundraiser.
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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).