Enchanted lantern lit evening at Yume Japanese Gardens

Cool down on Friday January 31, 2015, at 7 p.m. at Yume gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way (just south of Tucson Botanical Gardens, same side of street):
“A stroll in the gardens lit with lanterns, Japanese background music, Japanese gardens slide show and ice cream as refreshment for sale. 520-332-2928, info@yumegardens.org.”  Website: www.yumegardens.org


Mega Mania! Summer Mania! at PCC Downtown on July 11

2015_summermania-megaMore manga, anime, comics, cosplay, gaming, prizes, and art & writing workshops than you can imagine!  PCC Downtown is at 1255 N. Stone Ave. (north of Speedway Blvd.)

Happening all day:

  • Cosplay – Show off your costume or make your own. Then take your picture at the drawing wall!!
  • Video gaming – Open play with Injustice, Super Smash Brothers, and other favorites!!
  • Tabletop gaming – Open play with classics and new favorites.
  • Walk down the red carpet and watch That’s My Take videos made by local teen film stars.
  • Go home with sugoi J-Pop giveaways from Freegal.
  • DC vs. Marvel giant chess – Avengers assemble! Justice League unite! Play giant chess as your favorite superhero team.
  • Giant Angry Birds – Shoot life-sized irate fowl at porcine piglets.
  • Blast your creativity into the future with Tech Toys! Program Sumo Wrestler robots, learn stop-motion animation, play with Makey Makeys and more! Drop in for a ninja-quick demo and leave with samurai-level skills!
  • Kids! – Deck out your superhero secret identity and make your own masks and capes!!

Catch it while you can:

  • Magic: The Gathering Card tournament with A2Z Games – Planeswalkers, ready your decks! Conjure dragons and fling fireballs in a single-elimination tournament to prove who is the best wizard in the entire multiverse. This tournament is open to players of all skill levels. Sign up starts at 2:00.
  • Travel to the stars with Anime Astronomy from Portable Planetariums!! Crawl into an inflatable planetarium and see how the stars and constellations align with your favorite anime and manga characters! The 20-minute shows start every half-hour beginning at 2:30. Seating is limited, so make sure you make it on time. No late entry!
  • 2:00-3:30 Make an impression on the world–learn how to carve your own stamps!
  • 3:30-5:45 Create your own amazing folded books with origami artist Mary Ellen Palmeri!
  • 4:30 Cosplay Contest – Sign up starts at 4:15 and cosplay death match is at 4:30. Fabulous prizes await the victors. Certain death awaits everyone else.

Author & Artists workshops

Are you a creative type? Find yourself doodling or writing a story? Experts are on hand to help you get your ideas on the page.

  • 2:30-3:15 DRAGONS AND FAIRIES AND WITCHES, OH MY! Learn more about some of the Southwest’s favorite fantasy authors:
    • Jeff Mariotte – Author of more than 50 novels and 150 comic books, Jeff has written and edited for companies such as Marvel, DC, IDW and WildStorm.
    • Marsheila Rockwell – Marsheila has written three Dungeons and Dragons-based novels and is currently working on a new independent novel with writing partner Jeff Mariotte.
    • Janni Lee Simner – Janni is the author of the well-loved Bones of Faerie Trilogy as well as Thief Eyes. She has also published over 30 short stories for kids, teens and adults.
    • Tobias Wade – After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2012, Tobias directed his full attention to writing. The First Man is his first published novel, preceded in publication by several short stories and a coauthored neuroscience paper.
  • 3:30-4:15 WORKSHOP: Inking with Adam – Adam Yeater – Adam is the artist and self-publisher of the ongoing underground comic book called One Last Day. He is also known for his highly detailed pen and ink drawings as well as his large paintings of “cute monsters.”
  • 4:30–5:15 WORKSHOP: Write Like A Pro – Aprilynne Pike – Aprilynne is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the series Wings. Learn about Aprilynne’s creative process, her networking style, and how she became one of today’s most popular young adult authors!
  • WORKSHOP: Dancing Spiderman: Drawing comics outside the gender box – Anastasia Matiatos – Anastasia Matiatos is a University of Arizona honors student who wanted to draw Spiderman a little differently. Join us as she talks about male and female drawings in comics, explores the motivation behind it, and teaches us how to draw outside the box!

Creative Cosplay

Are you looking for a way to enter the cosplay world? Look no further! Learn from your seasoned cosplay enthusiast about how to get started portraying your favorite characters no matter your budget.

  • 2:30-3:15 Cosplay on a Budget: Wanna dress up like your favorite character, but don’t have the cash? Learn how to make fandom possible on a budget!
  • 3:30-4:15 Breaking into Cosplay: How do you make those crazy armor plates all the cools kids are wearing these days? What’s the best online wig retailer? All these mysteries and MORE solved here!
  • 4:30-5:30 501st Makeup and Wigs: Learn how to do makeup and wig styling for any character you wish to transform into. Get tips from award-winning cosplayers!

Japan Live!

Nihon ga sugoi! Do you love Japan? Go on beyond manga and get a peek behind the scenes at the real land of the rising sun.

  • 2:30–3:15 Cute Food with Chef Mario: Learn a little bit about the culture behind bento boxes and techniques for creative food like rice flowers. See just how easy it is to make kawaii foodstuff!
  • 3:30–4:15 Kanji Tattoos: Take a step into our (temporary) tattoo parlor and learn some authentic, fun, book-related Kanji so you don’t end up with a tattoo that says “toilet” on your forearm someday!
  • 4:30–5:15 Learn Origami: Impress your friends with paper swans and paper frogs and other things that are folded and paper-y with a lesson in this age old Japanese art form.


  • Erika Johnston – Erika is a writer and illustrator from Tucson, Arizona. She likes astronomy, pie, cats, and ghosts… and stamp-carving… and sea monsters, though deep water makes her very nervous.

Don’t forget to:

  • Visit the Bookmans booth! Don’t miss their manga and comic exchange, where you can swap and trade for a new series. While you’re there, check out the 1317 Club just for teens, and enter the free raffle to win a prize!!
  • Get your hair did to add the perfect touch to your costume or just for fun. Amethyst Room South
  • Onaka ga suita! Indulge your taste buds with free Japanese snacks and American-style pizza.
  • Stop by the Bookbike for fun giveaway surprises!
  • Visit the R-Galaxy booth and pick up some of your favorite manga!

Odaiko Sonora summer intro classes to taiko drumming

taikodrummingOdaiko Sonora Summer Series: Free 1-day intro to Taiko Classes!

Saturdays, 2:30–4:30pm, June 27, July 25, and August 22. All three classes are FREE! Take one or all of them! Wear clothes that are cool and easy to move in, and bring a water bottle. We take care of the rest! The August 22nd class doubles as the first class in a 6-weekAll Ages Recreational Taiko (AART) unit that will last until 10/3, culminating in the opportunity to perform with Odaiko Sonora at Tucson Meet Yourself! Let us know you’re coming by calling (520) 481-8003 or by emailing info@tucsontaiko.org.  Odaiko Sonora is located in the Rhythm Industry Performance Center, 1013 S. Tyndall, just north of E. 22nd. St.

Japanese Language & Culture summer camps in June & July

Japanese language & culture summer camps for kids (ages 5 to 7, or 8 to 12) at Yume Japanese Gardens in June and July (see Calendar listing for more info).

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson will be offering a week-long Japanese Language and Culture Summer Camp.

In the mornings, students will learn about Japanese gardens through hands-on activities, followed by Japanese language instruction. The afternoons will be packed with arts and crafts that teach aspects of Japanese culture while enforcing language learned.

Website: www.yumegardens.org

Tucson Japanese Meet Up Group to meet on May 17

Description: TUCSON JAPANESE MEET UP: “We are having a party to promote friendship and interaction within our Tucson community. It’s also an excellent opportunity for anyone who is interested in Japanese culture. Let’s enjoy socializing with the people working in different disciplines. Everyone is welcome including newcomers to Tucson.”
Date : Sunday,May 17 Time: 11:00am-1:00pm
Location : Takamatsu restaurant (http://takatucson.net/index.html),
5632 E.Speedway Blvd., Tucson AZ 85712-4926
(Between Craycroft Rd. and Wilmot Rd.,one block east of Craycroft on Speedway)
Fee of lunch buffet: $9.95 (10 years old and over) $5.95(6years old -9) $3.95 (3years old-5) $1.95 (2 years and under). Please order drink or dessert individually if you want. Please give the fee (including tax and tip) to Yukari on site (only accepting cash).
Please send us the names of all participants prior to May15.
Organizers: Yukihiro Ibuki — yibukijp@yahoo.co.jp, (cell: 520-907-1934) or Yukari Katayama  — katayama-y@msn.com. Please feel free to ask any questions to us. 

Children’s Day at Yume Japanese Gardens on May 2nd


Childrens Day Image

“Tucsonans will honor children of all ages as they celebrate the Japanese holiday of Children’s Day on May 2 at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, Southern Arizona’s only authentic Japanese garden.  Originally a festival to wish for the health and happiness of boys, Kodomo no Hi, or Children’s Day, as it is now called, honors all children with traditional decorations and activities.  The festival at Yume Japanese Gardens will take place from 1 to 4:30 pm.  All activities are included with paid admission to the Gardens.

 Customarily held on May 5th in Japan, families fly carp streamers, or koinobori, outside their house as the carp is a symbol of strength, determination, vigor, and success.  Figurines of Japanese warriors and heroes are set up inside the house along with representations of samurai helmets to inspire strength and bravery.  Children eat special foods, such as kashiwa mochi—rice cakes stuffed with bean paste and wrapped in oak leaves—and chimaki—dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.  Special events for children and families are also held throughout the country.

 The annual celebration at Yume Japanese Gardens offers families the beautiful setting of a Japanese garden to rejoice in the individual strengths of children and wish for their continued happiness.  This year the celebration will feature yukata for children to wear, goldfish netting, the making of traditional Japanese kites, lessons in origami, Japanese toys, and a performance by a children’s drumming group.”

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Yume Japanese Gardens (www.tucsonjapanesegardens.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 at520.332.2928 or yume.gardens@gmail.com.  

Children’s Day Display at Mini Time Machine Museum from April 28 to May 10


“Tango no Sekku or Children’s Day is a Japanese national holiday celebrating the healthy growth and development of children, especially boys. The purpose of the holiday is to encourage children to grow to be strong leaders and powerful individuals. Celebrated on May 5th, Children’s Day became a national holiday in 1948. Prior to that time many people celebrated May 5th as Boy’s Day. In celebration of the holiday schools have the day off and many families plan outings to fun places like amusement parks. Preceding Children’s Day is Girl’s Day, celebrated two months prior on March 3rd. There are many comparable traditions between the two celebrations, such as setting up a tiered display of traditionally dressed dolls and accessories. These traditional displays of figures and other objects are called Musha Ningyo.

The Children’s Day Display at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures dates to the mid-20th century and was donated to the museum in 2014 by Nancy Phillips. The display will be up from April 28 through May 10, 2015.” The Museum is located at 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive in Tucson.  Info at www.theminitimemachine.org.

13th Annual Japanese Speech Contest at UA on April 25

Go to website of Southern AZ Assn. for Japanese Education for applications, info on Cosplay event, etc. http://www.saaje.org/.  NEW LOCATION this year: University of Arizona Modern Language Building, room 350, 1423 E. University Blvd. in Tucson.


Every year middle, high and college students compete in several fluency levels in Japanese.  Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers will be performing as well (3:15 p.m.), and the So. AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition will have a table at this event, with information about our group, and hanafuda cards to learn about & play with.  (This a popular card game in Hawaii and in South Korea, but not in Japan).

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.