Origami Exhibit at Yume Japanese Gardens opens on April 3rd

Origami fish by M. Craig

Origami fish by M. Craig

“The intriguing and popular Japanese art of paper folding – origami – will be on display April 3 to May 2 at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, in an exhibition by local origami artist M. Craig.

A free opening reception will be held at the Gardens from 5 to 7 pm on Friday April 3.

Raised in both America and Japan, multi-cultural origami artist M. Craig holds a degree in Fine Arts and is co-founder of the Tucson Origami Club. She has taught Japanese paper-folding techniques throughout the Tucson region since 1996, creating both miniature and life-size designs.”

Yume Japanese Gardens (www.yumegardens.org) highlights classical Japanese landscape design. A non-profit organization founded in 2013, it includes a stone Zen garden, koi pond, dry river, Japanese house, and fountains. The Gardens are located at 2130 North Alvernon Way, one block south of the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Contact the Gardens at 520.332.2928 or yume.gardens@gmail.com.


Japanese American authors at Tucson Festival of Books on March 14 & 15

Japanese American authors Naomi Hirahara (mystery books) and Cynthia Kadohata (children’s/young adult books) coming to Tucson Festival of Books, March 14 & 15 on the University of Arizona mall. 

Go online to www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org and click on links to the alphabetical author’s list to note the various author panels & book signings by these two women authors. The various events are listed on the SAJCC Calendar page for March 14 and 15. All free.  The Arizona Daily Star has published a comprehensive brochure on this event in the March 8 issue.

Tucson’s Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers will be performing at the Children’s Storyteller Stage on March 14, 3:30 p.m.

Naomi Hirahara

Naomi Hirahara

Cynthia Kadohata

Cynthia Kadohata















Japanese Temple Cooking workshops on March 2 and 30


Japanese Temple Cooking for Longevity (3 workshops) on March 2 and 30 by Yoshi Nakano

Questions: contact Yoshi at 490-2935 or www.zentribewellness.com. All classes will be at the Food for Ascension Cafe at the Sea of Glass building, 330 E. 7th St. (west of 4th Avenue).


 From Zen Tribe Wellness website:

Many medicines originally derived from edible plants, just as our basic diet did in the history of mankind.

We will introduce the monastic way of preparing balanced, whole foods with simple healing sounds, Qi gong breath, vegetarian cooking, and dining.

Embrace the wisdom of cosmic healing principles, eastern Qi anatomy, and the spiritual relationship between mother nature and ourselves. You will learn how to nourish and restore whole health and inner peace.

Girls’ Day Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens on March 1st


“Tucsonans will be able to share in the traditions of Japan with a celebration of the annual Japanese holiday Hinamatsuri, or Girls Day.  Customarily held on March 3rd, this special day heralds the beginning of spring while wishing for the health and future happiness of girls with traditional hina doll displays, special foods, and activities.

This year’s Hinamatsuri will be held on March 1, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

 The centerpiece of Girls Day is the large, five-tiered display of ornamental hina dolls representing the Emperor, Empress, and their court from the Heian period (9ththrough 12th centuries) when the custom of displaying dolls originated.  Believing the dolls had the ability to contain evil spirits, straw hina dolls were set afloat down the river to the sea to carry bad spirits away, a tradition still practiced today.

 In addition to a stunning hina doll display, the Girls Day Festival will also include an exhibition of variety of Japanese dolls and several hands-on activities for the young and young at heart.

 Yume Japanese Gardens (www.tucsonjapanesegardens.org) is Tucson’s only authentic Japanese garden and highlights classical concepts of Japanese landscape design. Founded in 2013 as a non-profit organization, it includes a traditional stone Zen garden, koi pond, dry river, Japanese house, and fountains. The Gardens are located at 2130 North Alvernon Way, one block south of the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Contact the Gardens at 520.332.2928 oryume.gardens@gmail.com .”

ALSO from March 1 to April 30, a Japanese doll exhibit will be held at Yume Gardens, daily 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “A fascinating exhibition highlighting the diversity of Japanese dolls in different mediums: ceramic, cloth, wood, and paper.”


Girls’ Day display to open at Mini Time Machine Museum on Feb. 17

Hinamatsuri (Girls’ Day) exhibit at Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, from Feb. 17 to March 3rd



Hinamatsuri or Girls’ Day is an annual holiday in Japan held on March 3rd, which honors the health and well-being of girls. The Girls’ Day Display at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is a five-tiered display including 15 dolls and other symbolic accessories.

The display will be up from February 17, 2015 through March 3, 2015 (Girls’ Day). The Museum is located at 4455 E. Camp Lowell (west of Swan Rd.).

Learn more about this dispaly at http://www.theminitimemachine.org/portfolio/girls-day-display/

“Yojimbo” film at the Loft Cinema, benefit for Aikido at the Center on February 7

Aikido demonstrations and lectures prior to the film, at 1 to 2 p.m.  Admission $12. Loft Cinema is at 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. in Tucson.

“Yojimbo” is a classic Akira Kurosawa movie starring the legendary Toshiro Mifune, as a ronin (masterless samurai) who wanders into a village where there are 2 competing crime lords.  As usual he is caught in the middle of the conflict.  More about the film at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yojimbo_(film)

aikido flyer Final Draft-page-001

More info at www.aikidoatthecenter.org.

“A Time” poem in memory of the WWII Japanese American internment camps

“A Time”

by Fred Yamashita (whose family was interned at Heart Mt. Internment Camp in  Wyoming)


A time to be or not to be

To reiterate my show of loyalty

My love of life and land

Is like that of any other man

Then why should we be denied?

We can’t trust the “slanty eyed”

This can’t be real, this tale of fiction

Still I salute the contradiction

That waves so bold red, white and blue

It stands for freedom and justice, for who?


A time to see or not to see

What has happened to my family

To my people so strong, so proud

The tears they shed aren’t heard aloud

But anger and confusion seeps through the soul

And what we want America to know

Is that we will endure despite and within

The laws you have forged to fence us in

We will fight for you

Unlock these yellow hands

And with our blood, prove to be

True Americans.


Fred Yamashita at the Pima County Democratic Party HQ

Fred Yamashita speaking at the Pima County Democratic Party HQ

Fred Yamashita is the Southern Az Director of UFCW 99, United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 99, in Tucson, Arizona. He recited this heartfelt poem at the SAJCC tour of the Gila River Internment Camp/Relocation Center memorial in Gila River, Arizona on January 24, 2015.


Beautiful ceramic sculpture show continues at Yume Japanese Gardens till Feb. 28

“In mostly earth-toned colors, and with clear lines and mass, these works by Phoenix artist Ping Wei stand on their own as sculptures and also invite people to arrange flowers in them in the Japanese art form called ikebana.”

Exhibit dates: Jan. 19 – Feb. 28, 9:30 to 4:30 daily. Free with regular admission to the Gardens. See. www.tucsonjapanesegardens.org.

Ping Wei Ceramic Sculpture Exhibit Flyer


Visit to Gila River Internment Camp (remnants & memorial) on January 24

Visit to Gila River Internment Camp on January 24

Gila River Internment Camp during WWII, courtesy of Dr. Karen Leong

Gila River Internment Camp during WWII, courtesy of Dr. Karen Leong

All day tour of remnants of Gila River Internment Camp (Gila River, AZ – south of Phoenix) & memorial.

Reservations REQUIRED. Contact DirectorRoss Iwamoto at sajcc@yahoo.com for information. This was one of the large Japanese American internment camps caused by E.O. 9066 during WWII. Over 13,000 Japanese Americans, 2/3 of whom were U.S. Citizens were interned here from 1942 to 1945.

Tour date: Saturday, January 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. $10 for lunch or option to bring our own. We will be car pooling to this tour site from Tucson and Phoenix.