Yume Japanese Gardens re-opening on Feb. 25, with enchanted evenings for 3 nights

Yume Japanese Gardens closed temporarily on January 7 due to the rise in COVID-10 pandemic cases, but is scheduled to re-open at 9:30 a.m. on February 25. That evening and on the next two evenings, enjoy lights of the magical world of ukiyo-e.

“Our enchanting Evenings at Yume are back!

Come and discover the magical world of Ukiyo-e, “Paintings of the Floating Worlds”, while strolling Yume’s paths after dark. Projections of many of these famous prints will be shown all around the Gardens and will animate the nights.’

The event draws on Japanese illustrations of lively entertainments in the pleasure quarters of Edo (old Tokyo). Called Ukiyo-e, these woodblock prints and paintings from the 17th to the 19th centuries capture Kabuki actors, geishas, and scenes from folk tales.

The glow of Japanese lanterns will enhance the atmosphere of Lights on the Magical World of Ukiyo-e. Evenings at Yume: Lights on the Magical World of Ukiyo-e will preview the upcoming Ukiyo-e exhibition soon to be featured at the garde

The participation in this event will be scheduled in increments of 1 hour per time slot (6:30pm-7:30pm OR 7:30pm-8:30pm) to guarantee social distancing to our visitors. This is a limited admission event.”

General admission: $16 adults – Children under 15: $5 – Members: $10.


E.O. 9066 Day of Remembrance panel discussion on Feb. 19 at UA

Join the University of Arizona campus community in this panel discussion on Feb. 19 at high noon. Click on the zoom link below to join the webinar, hosted by UA Asian Pacific American Student Affairs and Global Experiential Learning.

Join our SAJCC Editor Carolyn Classen, whose father Francis Sueo Sugiyama was forced to relocate from Los Angeles to Chicago in the spring of 1942. He had been expelled as a student at USC Dental School (due to his race), then luckily got a “voluntary pass” and fled by train, without his possessions, which were sent to him later in Chicago.

Professor Esaki’s grandparents met in the internment camps, and Brandon Shimoda’s grandfather was also interned in a Dept. of Justice prison camp. Listen to their stories and ongoing research on this topic, along with Professor Williams’ Buddhism research. He will also be lecturing at 4 p.m. that same day at the UA (see other post below and our Calendar).

Zoom link for this webinar: https://arizona.zoom.us/j/85338321386

Talk on Remembrance of Names: A Monument to the WWII Japanese American incarceration on Feb. 19

February 19, 4 p.m. via zoom. Register here via UA Center for Buddhist Studies:


“The forced removal and incarceration of roughly 125,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, into various kinds of confinement sites during WWII began with the arrest of Buddhist priests even before the smoke had cleared at Pearl Harbor. The prewar surveillance of Buddhist temples and the targeting of Buddhist and Shinto priests as threats to national security was based on a long-standing presumption that America is essentially a White Christian nation. The first federal immigration law that targeted a particular group for exclusion was the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act that deemed the predominantly Buddhist/Taoist Chinese immigrants as the “heathen Chinee,” a group religiously and racially unassimilable. Despite this long history of religion-racial animus, Buddhists drew on their teachings, practice, and community to not only survive the wartime incarceration, but advocate for a vision of America that is multi-ethnic and religiously free.

In this presentation, Prof. Williams will talk about how the incarceration experiences of Japanese American Buddhists offer a way to heal and repair America’s racial and religious fractures that endure in different ways even to the present. At a time when the karmic legacy of America’s racial past has put into question what becomes monumentalized, Prof. Williams will outline a major new initiative to remember the names of those incarcerated in the form of a Buddhist monument that he is creating.

Duncan Ryūken Williams is Professor of Religion/American Studies & Ethnicity/East Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. Williams is the author of the LA Times bestseller American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Harvard University Press, 2019) and The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Sōtō Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan (Princeton University Press) and editor of 7 books including Issei Buddhism in the Americas (U-Illinois Press), American Buddhism (Routledge/Curzon Press), Hapa Japan (Ito Center/Kaya Press), and Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard University Press). He is also the founder of Hapa Japan (a mixed race/mixed roots Japanese community and festival); was the founding Executive Vice President of JAPAN HOUSE/LA, and serves as a national steering committee/board member of organizations ranging from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the Japan Foundation, the Harvard Pluralism Project, and Tsuru for Solidarity. “


AZ Matsuri in Phoenix goes virtual for February, 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona Matsuri festival has gone virtual for 2021. You can purchase Matsuri tshirts (https://www.azmatsuri.org/matsuri-t-shirts), but the rest of the two day festival on Feb. 27 and 28 will be virtual. Performances will be virtual at the usual three stages. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers, Suzuyuki-Kai dancers, Arizona Kyudo Kai archers from Tucson will hopefully be performing again.

Don’t forget to enter the yearly haiku contest, now in its 7th year. I won an Outstanding Haiku award last year in the Adult category, for the first time, what an honor. Here’s the link to enter and you can submit three haiku. Deadline is Feb. 10 to submit your haiku.


The theme for the 2021 Matsuri is senbazuru, 1000 cranes:

” One thousand origami cranes (千羽鶴, senbazuru; literally “1000 cranes”) is a group of one thousand origamipaper cranes (折鶴, orizuru) held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. Some stories believe you are granted happiness and eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise) and is said to live for a thousand years: That is why 1000 cranes are made, one for each year. In some stories it is believed that the 1000 cranes must be completed within one year and they must all be made by the person who is to make the wish at the end.”

All info at www.azmatsuri.org.

” The 37th Annual Arizona Matsuri will be VIRTUAL this year, streaming online on www.facebook.com/azmatsuri and the Arizona Matsuri Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCphtXDEjxsXzY7TEadHST8w
Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm

Join us for two full days of videos showcasing martial arts, Taiko drums, dance, culture, food spotlights and cooking tutorials, Japanese tourism, performing arts, merchandise highlights, traditional folk tales, a tea ceremony, behind the scenes peeks, and more!
Visit www.azmatsuri.org for raffle tickets, food, merchandise and streaming links. Schedule coming soon!”