Between Folds: Classical Origami exhibit ongoing at Yume Japanese Gardens through December, 2017

Beautiful origami exhibit opened October 1, 2017 at Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way, and will continue to December 31, 2017 (and perhaps longer).

Photos courtesy of Tucson Origami Club founder M. Fumie Craig, who folded most of the origami shown.  Origami LAFF instructor Mary Ellen Palmeri contributed a few pieces as well.

Lovely origami butterflies, frogs, elephants, fish, shells, cacti on display at this exhibit.

“Weather permitting, the Gardens are open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, except Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, 25 and 31, and January 1.”

Japanese cultural activities/performances at 2017 Tucson Meet Yourself

Annual folklife festival will be held again at El Presidio Park and Jacome Plaza in downtown Tucson on October 13 to 15, 2017. Maps and info at

Schedule  for Japanese cultural activities:

Saturday Oct. 14: Alameda  Stage (west of Church Ave.)

11 a.m. Ryushinkan Dojo (sword/jujitsu)
5 p.m. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers (photo below)

Odaiko Sonora drummers

Sunday Oct. 15, Alameda Stage (west of Church Ave.)
11:30 a.m.UA Kyudo & AZ Kyudo Kai (archery)
3 p.m. Mari Kaneta’s Suzuyuki Kai – traditional kabuki dances (photo below)

Suzuyuki Kai dancers

 Saturday/Sunday, 11 to 6 p.m. along Church Avenue, will be folks arts:
Akiko Victorson Japanese Shodo Calligraphy
Chieko (Chi) Nakano Origami
Also again this year — popular Japanese takoyaki (octopus balls) and ramen booth (E 23) in El Presidio Park in downtown Tucson near the City Hall Stage.  All three days.

Michael and Tomomi Katz at their 2017 takoyaki/ramen booth at TMY, courtesy of Miyako McKay

Origami in the Garden at Tucson Botanical Gardens

October 9, 2017 to April 1, 2018 at Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way

Available Daily During Garden Hours

Included with Gardens Admission

“Tucson Botanical Gardens is delighted to present the exhibit Origami in the Garden2, a display of larger-than-life sculptures incorporating a traditional form of artistic expression surrounded by the beauty of the Gardens.

Each sculpture is inspired by a blank piece of paper that has been transformed into museum quality metal and tells the story of creativity and the art of making something out of nothing. Walking through Origami in the Garden2, we discover many different examples of what can be folded from a piece of paper and how these forms relate to the natural world around us. The collection was created by artist Kevin Box and includes his own compositions as well as collaborative works with his wife Jennifer Box and origami masters Robert J. Lang, Te Jui Fu, Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander.

Don’t miss this fascinating exhibit. As the opening date nears, please return to our website as we add programming and educational opportunities to our Fall Calendar!”

Kick off event is a Butterfly Affair gala on October 8, at 4:30 p.m.honoring botanical artist & illustrator Manabu Saito.  (His prints will be on exhibit at the Porter House gallery during the entire run of the Origami in the Garden show.) Purchase tickets to the gala online at:

Origami workshops will be held at  Tucson Botanical Gardens on Oct. 26, November 9, and December 7, 2017, taught by Mary Ellen Palmeri.

Info at

Article on the late architect Taro Akutagawa for Tucson Modernism Week

The Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation has researched and published an online article about Japanese American Taro Akutagawa, who designed several buildings and gardens in Tucson, Arizona, including the Catalina Foothills Apartments.

Taro Akutagawa, courtesy of Akutagawa family, c. 1940

Link (with photos) to the article here:  This article will be in the 2017 Tucson Modernism Week guide (pages 22 to 27)  and a small garden designed by him will be on a tour (tba) .

Excerpt from the article:

“The Japanese-American landscape designer Taro Akutagawa (1917 – 2002) was born in Los Angeles California. Educated in Japan, he returned to California shortly before the beginning of World War to join his family’s successful small farming business. His career was cut short on February 19, 1942 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 which forced all Americans of Japanese ancestry, regardless of loyalty or citizenship, to leave their lives on the West Coast and enter internment camps. Owing to his Japanese education Akutagawa was one of the first in his community to be detained and interned, and one of the last to be released.

In spite of the fact that his internment was a flagrant violation of his civil liberties, Akutagawa came to believe that the time he spent in the desert internment camp of Poston, Arizona, advanced his education in life and helped him to develop his leadership skills.”  (Read more in the article)

More info on the October 7 to 15, 2017 Tucson Modernism Week: