Photo gallery of 2024 Tucson Japanese Festival

After a 3 year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (of which I am the Editor of the website) decided to host our annual Tucson Japanese Festival once again at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center (1288 W. River Rd.), on March 23, 2024. We had previously hosted this as a New Year’s celebration but time commitments changed, so March was a better time, for Spring.

This 2024 festival was well attended by about 2000 people and there were numerous performances by taiko drummers, martial artists, Japanese dancers, shakuhachi flute players, women in kimono doing tea ceremonies, plus delicious food from Japanese, Korean & Chinese vendors. Weather was perfect and we even had two mochi pounding (from rice) activities by the Pimienta (and Hayes) families, plus mochi samples for sale and mochibana art to do. Japanese games (i.e. shogi) and children’s activities (origami, chopstick pickup & kendama) were ongoing in the east side activity rooms of the center. Numerous Japanese-themed vendors had items for sale or display in the central hall.

Photos below courtesy of my husband Albrecht Classen.

Suzuyuki-Kai traditional dancers on the Main Stage outside. Founder Mari Kaneta, dancing in the middle.
Co-sponsor Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers performing on the Main Stage outside.
Pimienta brothers (3) and Hayes brothers (2) did mochi pounding (from rice) outside in the courtyard, twice, along with mochibana art activity of pressing mochi onto cut flowering branches.
Origami paper folding was taught in the activity room by UA professor Chieko Nakano.
Lia Chen of Sakura Tea Circle performed the traditional Japanese tea ceremony in the library.
Suzuyuki-Kai MoGan Daiko troupe performed in the memorial garden. Event coordinator Kristina McGaha on the left with microphone in the green t-shirt (from our last 2020 festival).
Koryo Yasui performing soothing shakuhachi flute music in the Memorial Garden.
Phoenix Shogi (Japanese chess) players came down to introduce the game to Tucsonans.
SAJCC Council member & retired Professor Dr. Min Yanagihashi spoke about Japanese American history and specifically his recent book “The Japanese American Experience: Change & Continuity” in the memorial garden.
Beautiful ikebana flower arrangements by the Ohara School of Ikebana were in the front foyer.
New this year 2024 were Tucson Japanese Festival caps (in orange for SAJCC Council members & in green for the numerous volunteers).

Thank you from Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition to all the performers, vendors, exhibitors, volunteers, supporters for helping to make our annual fundraiser a huge success. All info about us at

2 thoughts on “Photo gallery of 2024 Tucson Japanese Festival”

  1. Thanks for posting about the festival. I’m glad to see that it has resumed; had I known, I would have stopped by. Happy Spring,

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