Tucson Meet Yourself “reframed” with Japanese cultural performances online, and takoyaki food booth in October

Tucson Meet Yourself goes virtual in 2020, with some Japanese performances and food trucks roundup in October

Go to www.tucsonmeetyourself.org for all information

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Tucson Meet Yourself (TMY) festival is online for performances, and as for food, having several food truck roundup weekends. Schedule below for Japanese culture.

October 8 Mari Kaneta traditional dance performances at 1 p.m and 3 p.m. (see website Calendar for online links)

Mari Kaneta & Suzuyuki-Kai dancers

October 15 Odaiko Sonora taiko drum performances at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (see website Calendar for online links)

Odaiko Sonora drummers

October 10 & 11 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at Mercado San Agustin, 125 S. Avenida del Convento (west side), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

October 24 & 25 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Ft. Lowell Rd. (central), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

Tomomi Katz on far left, with her helpers at her Takoyaki Balls food booth, photo courtesy of Steven Meckler for Tucson Meet Yourself

Also, new this year is Lit Up: Traditional Artists on Public Walls on Fridays starting Oct. 2nd , from dusk to 10 p.m. Three venues will be lit up at the Aloft Hotel, Tucson City Court, Winterhaven Square. Participating for Japanese culture are:

Dance Traditions: 
Mari Kaneta,  Japanese traditional dance

Folk Arts Traditions:
Chieko (Chi) Nakano, Origami
Akiko Victorson, Japanese Shodo Calligraphy

Beginning Ohara Ikebana classes at Tucson Botanical Gardens in October (online)

Beginning Ohara Ikebana: 4-Part Series (online) at Tucson Botanical Gardens in October

4-part series: October 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5

“Create beauty and reduce stress through Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of arranging flowers in the style most pleasing to the eye. Learn from the Ohara School of Ikebana whose instruction is the result of 600 years of evolving artistic development in Japan. Develop your practice incrementally over four sessions. Price includes a vessel and kenzan available for pick-up at the Gardens, you provide the flowers.

A vessel and kenzan is included in the price of the class. These materials are available for pick-up at Tucson Botanical Gardens. Please contact Katie Rogerson, Director of Education, to make arrangements for pick-up: education1@tucsonbotanical.org or 520-326-9686 ext. *39

You will also need a notebook, bucket, towel, and shears.Sign up for this class 

Online class participants will receive a Zoom link for the live class two hours before the class begins.

All online classes are recorded and participants receive a video replay that is available for two weeks after the date of the class.”

20% TBG Member discount


10:30 to 12:30 p.m. for 4 weeks

Price: $160

Ohara School of Ikebana — JoAnn Hyde

SAJCC Council cancels annual Tucson Japanese Festival for 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition Council decided to cancel the annual Tucson Japanese Festival for 2021. It was tentatively scheduled for January 16, 2021 at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. which recently announced that it will be closed till the end of 2020, due to the pandemic.

This annual Tucson Japanese Festival is in it’s 8th year, usually held in January to celebrate the New Year. The Tucson Japanese Festival started out as the Tucson Mochitsuki (mochi pounding event) in 2014, held at Yume Japanese Gardens. It was hosted by the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center for the last 2 years, 2019 and 2020, and previously held for three years at Pima Community College Downtown campus.

Any questions about the festival should be emailed to Director Yuki Ibuki at yuki@southernazjapan.org. Check our Facebook page for updates on the SAJCC as well.

SAJCC donates assistance funds during COVID-19 pandemic

The Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coaltion (SAJCC) Council decided to provide emergency assistance funds to Japanese American businesses and organizations during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. A committee consisting of Director Yuki Ibuki, Treasurer Clint Cooper, Secretary K. Negley, and Dr. Min and Evelyn Yanagihashi set up a selection process and chose these recipients, with approval of the full Council. Funds were distributed in July, 2020 to:

  • Odaiko Sonora (taiko drummers): $1500 Covid-19 support donation
  • Tucson Japanese Language School: $500 for Covid-19 scholarship support plus a donation of 15 purchased Family Memberships for Yume Japanese Gardens
  • Yume Japanese Gardens: $500 Covid-19 support donation
  • Ikkyu Restaurant: $500 to assist with their restaurant operations for food donations to medical personnel of Covid-19

Be well everyone, and stay safe during this pandemic. For more info about these donated funds, contact Director Yuki Ibuki at yuki@southernazjapan.org.