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This year, JapanFest Weekend will take place on September 21-22, from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 5 pm on Sunday. The theme for 2019 is “Get Ready to Travel to Japan – Olympics 2020” and offers an array of performances, workshops, and other opportunities for festival-goers to become more familiar with the nation hosting the 2020 Olympics. Sports have historically been an integral component of Japanese culture, with traditional sports such as sumo and martial arts combining with Western imports like baseball to occupy an important space in Japanese daily life. The 2020 Olympics will provide Japan not only an opportunity to showcase the best of its and other countries’ athletics but will also serve as a way to display its unique culture and arts on an international stage.
This year’s headlining performers include Nozomi Takeda, Marie Kondo’s senior executive consultant who has worked with Kondo since the very beginning in teaching the KonMari “Spark Joy” Method of tidying up homes across America. Also coming from Tokyo will be Tomomi Kunishige, well-known for her dramatic art exhibition-style of Japanese calligraphy that includes English words.
The ever-popular Matsuriza Taiko Drummers, a Japanese taiko drum troupe of five powerful drummers, will perform and conduct workshops. Samurai Sword Soul will show off their dramatic sword techniques and demonstrate the “Way of the Warrior.” Street Theater Artist Mariko Iwasa, an accomplished actress in an array of theater genres including kabuki, clowning, and mime, will show us that, “We can say anything without words.” Minyo Station, a Japanese Folk Music Troupe from Los Angeles, combines traditional and western instruments for an eclectic, original jazz sound. Motoko the Storytellerwill mesmerize children and adults alike with both funny and scary Japanese tales told in English. The traditional Japanese tea ceremony, sumo wrestling, karate and ninja performances, Japanese flower arranging, traditional Japanese dancing and more will all be a part of the festival entertainment program as well.
JapanFest will include a Food Court, filled with affordable Japanese delicacies, as well as the Ginza Dori “main street” filled with even more vendors with Japanese novelties for sale; Anime Village for all our loyal Anime fans; The Way of the Warrior with sword and martial arts exhibits; the Japanese Arts Studio where you can participate in Ikebana Flower Arranging, Bonsai, Calligraphy, Kimono, and Tea Ceremony; an Olympics 2020 Capsule to learn all about next year’s festivities and travel to Japan, and much more! JapanFest, now in its 33rd year, typically draws crowds exceeding 20,000. Organized by JapanFest, Inc., JapanFest is designed to promote understanding between Japanese and Americans in the Southeast. Come travel to the Tokyo Olympics without leaving Georgia.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Children age 6 or younger are free. Buy tickets here.
For further information or to volunteer click here.