Tag Archives: Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition

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 2018 Tucson Japanese Festival

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

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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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