Tucson Japanese Festival 2019


If you don’t know what takoyaki balls (made from octopus) are, check out our 6th annual Tucson Japanese Festival, which was previously called the Tucson Mochitsuki for the mochi (rice) pounding event highlight. Our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC) is still pounding & making mochi, but we feature other Japanese activities and performances as  well.  Here’s the flyer and schedule of events below.

NEW location — Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. (between Oracle and La Canada Drive) –no longer at PCC Downtown, where it was for past 3 years).


Enjoy the ramen and my favorite, spam musubi (very popular back home in Hawaii, where it is ubiquitous). It is cooked rice, covered by a wrapping of nori (seaweed) with fried spam inside.

Happy New Year, Japanese style. It is the Year of the Pig in 2019.

Carolyn Sugiyama  Classen (aka  Carolyn Classen), Editor, Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coaltion, www.southernazajapan.org

Updates and info on the door prizes from Japanese restaurants will be on our facebook page:  www.facebook.com/southernazjapan/

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Carolyn Classen
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).


  1. It took me a while to recover from the hard work of our 6th festival, attended by a record # of people (2,000), many who were also probably curious about the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center venue. All went well and on schedule, with lots of delicious food (including 3 types of free sushi by a vendor Fresher than Fresh Roadshow), children learning games, musical/dance performances and terrific weather. Stay tuned for a Photo Gallery of photos taken of Saturday’s New Year festivities. Many thanks to all our Council members, volunteers, donors, vendors, exhibitors, etc. for the successful event.

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