Japanese culture at 2015 Tucson Meet Yourself

Tucson Meet Yourself, the yearly folk festival in downtown Tucson will be happening again on Oct. 9 to 11, at Jacome Plaza in front of the Joel D. Valdez main library and at El Presidio Park just west, across Church Avenue.

Japanese cultural events of interest:

Saturday Oct. 10 at 12 noon to 1 p.m., Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers at Church St. Stage

Sunday Oct. 11 at 11 to 11:30 a.m.  Arizona Kyudo Kai & UA Kyudo Club archery demonstrations, Global Rhythms Stage

Sunday Oct. 11 at 2 to 3 p.m. Mari Kaneta’s Suzuyuki Kai traditional Japanese Dance at the Church Street Stage


MARI KANETA SUZUYUKI-KAI Recipient of the 2015 Southwest Folklife Alliance “Master-Apprentice” Award SUNDAY 2PM. (Church Street Stage) Kabuki style Japanese dancers perform in traditional make-up, hair style and kimono. Led by Master Mari Kaneta who has been instructing for 40 years. Dances include classical Japanese music as well as instrumentals, pops/rocks and jazz/fusions.

Map and schedule online at www.tucsonmeetyourself.org

There also is usually Japanese calligraphy and origami demonstrations at the Folk Arts area in the Pima County courthouse patio, 115 N. Church Ave.

New this year: Japanese food booth serving takoyaki and yakisoba.  Be on the lookout for that for delicious Japanese food.

Tucson Repertory Orchestra folding 1000 origami cranes for trip to Hiroshima

Tucson Repertory Orchestra, conducted by Hiroshima born/raised Director Toru Tagawa is travelling to perform in Japan in October.  Toru’s wife and violinist for TRO, Laura Tagawa is seeking help in folding 1000 origami paper cranes to present to the Hiroshima Children’s Peace Memorial.  She was inspired by Sadako Sasaki’s story of the young 12 year old leukemia victim (from the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima on 8/6/45), who tried to fold 1000 cranes before her death.

9/28/15 UPDATE: Over 1300 cranes have been folded to date, plus several hundred yet to be counted.  So we are still folding cranes till Thursday 10/1/15.

9/30/15 UPDATE: Over 2800 cranes folded, so please show up on Oct. 1 to help string them to take to Hiroshima.  Thank you everyone for helping.

10/1/15 UPDATE:  Group of about 15 friends of TRO strung about 18 strands of cranes – over 1000 plus to date.  Mission accomplished, so good luck to TRO on their concert tour to Japan later this month.


If you can help fold cranes please pick up origami paper (3 inches x 3 inches) at Snow Peas Modern Asian Kitchen, 1402 S. Craycroft Rd. Larger sizes will be accepted as well.  Origami folding sessions will be held on September 28, 3 to 5 p.m. and on the final date of crane folding — October 1st, 5 to 8 p.m.

More info on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/TucsonRepertoryOrchestra?fref=ts

Golden Images photo exhibit at Yume Japanese Gardens

Golden Photographs Poster Resized

Gold Leaf Photos Put Shimmer and Shine in The Eye of The Beholder

 Updated Antique Photographic Technique Makes Pictures Glow In Local Exhibit

“A long-neglected process that utilizes gold to render highlights with startlingly more depth and luminosity than ordinary photographs appears in a modern incarnation in the exhibit Gold Leaf Photographs by Kate Breakey, opening September 11 at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson.

 A Tucson resident born in Australia, Breakey enjoys international acclaim for her images that achieve luminous effects through the exploration of antique photographic processes that have become part of art history.

 The images in her current show are modern versions of Orotones. In their heyday — the early 20th century — Orotones were created by printing a positive photographic image on a glass plate and then coating the plate with lacquer impregnated with bronze, silver, or gold metallic pigment.

 In her resurrection of this process, Breakey uses contemporary media and technology to print her photographs digitally on glass and then flawlessly hand applies 23.5-karat gold leaf to the back of the plate. Light penetrates the glass plate, strikes the gold leaf underneath, and beams back, illuminating the image from behind and creating a picture that glows and shimmers from within.The effect is reminiscent of the luminosity of a gilded Japanese screen.

 The traditional Orotones most familiar to Americans are those of Edward S. Curtis, the ethnologist and photographer of the American West who documented Native American peoples in a massive collection of images made from 1906 to 1930.

Since 1980 Breakey has exhibited in nearly 150 solo and group shows in the U.S., France, Japan, Australia, China, and New Zealand. Her images are held in many public institutions, including the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Australian National Gallery in Canberra and the Osaka Museum in Osaka, Japan. She is represented by Etherton Gallery in Tucson,  one of the Southwest’s premier galleries and the co-sponsor of the current exhibition.

 A free opening reception and exhibition preview will be held at Yume Japanese Gardens on September 11 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Golden Images: Gold Leaf Photographs runs until November 20, 9:30 to 4:30 daily.”

 For more information visit http://www.yumegardens.org, email yume.gardens@gmail.com or call Allen Boraiko of Yume Japanese Gardens at 520-343-0926.

New Tucson Japanese Language School starts on August 8

“Tucson Japanese Language School Objective: Giving children the opportunity to experience Japanese language, and also expose them to the Japanese culture as a way to as extend the language ability. Create opportunities for exchanges between parents with children. Date and time: Every Saturday 9:00 to 10:30 (40 minutes, a 10-minute break, and another 40 minutes) Period: 2015 August 8 – December 12 (17 days), 2016 January 9 – May 14 (17 days) Location: International School of Tucson 1701 East Seneca Street, Tucson Arizona 85719 2015
Tuition: Annual $ 350, split into two equal payments of $175 each Tuition due deadline August 29, 2015 (August last Saturday) and January 30, 2016 (January last Saturday) Entry requirements: Children starting Kindergarten up to High School level the upcoming school year (Japanese speaking) parents can help their children at home.
Form: Classes are divided according to Japanese language skill level and age. There will be a recital at the end of each semester, and perhaps athletic meet events (dates TBD). Volunteering ideas: Copy class materias, monitor break times, etc. E-mail: tucson.nihongo.hosyuko@gmail.com”

Enchanted lantern lit evening at Yume Japanese Gardens on August 7 (postponed to August 14)

UPDATE: 8/7/15: Again postponed — to August 14, due to inclement weather.
UPDATE  7/31/15: due to rainy weather, this event has been postponed to Friday, August 7, same time.
Cool down on Friday July 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.