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.


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/