Japanese performers, folk artists and food at 2023 Tucson Meet Yourself on October 13 – 15

Coming to Jacome Plaza downtown outside the Joel D.Valdez main library (101 E. Stone Ave.) is once again Tucson Meet Yourself folk festival in its 50th year!

NEW performers this year: Japanese musical trio Nagoyaka will be performing on Oct. 13 on the Jacome Plaza lawn, at 1:15 to 2 p.m.
“NAGOYAKA 和やか (“Peace”) is an ensemble of musicians playing traditional Japanese music in Tucson. Masako Yasui (koto; Ikuta ryu), Koryo Yasui (shakuhachi; Tozan ryu), Paul Amiel (shakuhachi, fue; Kinko ryu).”

Members of Nagoyaka performing at Yume Japanese Gardens

Other Japanese performances:
Sukuyuki-Kai dancers on October 14 at 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. on the Jacome Plaza Lawn. Same day October 14 at 4:45 p.m. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers will be at the Church Ave. stage. And UA Kyudo and AZ Kyudo Kai will be demonstrating Japanese archery on Oct. 15 at 1:15 p.m. at Stone Ave. stage.

New folk arts this year: Kiyoko Matsuyama will be teaching ikebana flower arranging (Sun 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.) and SAJCC Council member Miki Pimienta will show how to fold furoshiki cloths over packages (Sat. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.) Also new will be Shuka Parker demonstrating calligraphy (Sat. 4 to 6 p.m.). Returning to teach origami paper folding is UA Professor Chieko Nakano.

Kiyoko Matsuyama will teach Ohara style of ikebana

Miki Pimienta will teach the art of furoshiki

Always a popular treat is Tomomi Katz’s Takoyaki Balls food truck/booth, located at # 35 this year. See TMY map.

Enjoy TMY in its 50th year. All info at: www.tucsonmeetyourself.org.

Yume Japanese Gardens’ annual re-opening on October 1st, 2023

at Yume Japanese Gardens

“Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson will be re-opening its gates on Sunday, October 1st, 2023. A celebration to welcome the Tucson community back to our cultural and tranquil space will be held from 12 PM to 5 PM (our regular operational hours).

Visitors can enjoy the reawakened Gardens while tasting delicious food from the ever popular Takoyaki Balls Food Truck (from 12 PM to 3 PM) and can experience the joy of movement and music through traditional Japanese dances and a Taiko drumming performance from local group, Odaiko Sonora.

An inspiring Exhibit, “The Sedge Hat and the Staff – A Zen Journey”, dedicated to the extraordinary life of reverend Dai-En Bennage Roshi, abbess emerita at Mt. Equity Zendo, PA, will be debuting on the same day in our Museum and will run through May 2024.

Visitors can go to https://www.yumegardens.org/purchase-tickets to purchase regular admission tickets in advance.”

Adults: $15.00
Seniors (65+)/Students/Military (w/ID): $12.00
Children 3-15: $6.00
Children 2 and under: Free 
Members: FREE


Carolyn’s note: Yume Japanese Gardens opened their doors in January 2013, has been open ever since, every Spring, Fall & Winter. They just celebrated their 10th year on April 1, 2023.

Jazz pianist Keiko Matsui at the Rialto Theater on September 12

Tucson Jazz Fest presents Keiko Matsui.  Tickets $38.50 to $54.50. Doors open at 7 p.m., concert at 8 p.m. Rialto Theater is at 318 E. Congress St. in Tucson.


“Keiko who masters the delicate balance between career and motherhood (she has two daughters) feels an urgency to leave the world a better place for future generations. “I want to make a positive impact for children in this generation and the future. Through prayer and my music, I hope to be able to increase more harmony on this planet.” Keiko succeeds in conjuring a harmonious affair on Euphoria.” (excerpt from her website bio)

More info on Keiko: https://www.keikomatsui.com/

SAJCC Council decides to hold next Tucson Japanese Festival on March 23, 2024

The SAJCC Council met on July 25, 2023 at the Yanagihashi residence and via zoom to discuss our Tucson Japanese Festival, which has been on hiatus in 2021, 2022, 2023 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Council decided to host this popular festival, on Saturday March 23, 2024 again at Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. Nine (of 13) Council members present at that meeting were Sharon, Crystal, Carolyn, Clint, Karen, Miyako, K, Miki, Min & Evelyn, plus guest Ishani Deo. Absent were M Fumie, Yuki, and Ginger.

The first SAJCC Japanese festival in Tucson was held in January 2014 at Yume Japanese Gardens, as a New Year‘s celebration with mochi pounding. After that it was held at Rhythm Industry Performance Factory (once), PCC Downtown (thrice), and Tucson Chinese Cultural Center (twice). This festival has traditionally been held in January, but will now be in March for 2024.

Japanese crafts, performances, food will be highlights of this upcoming festival in 2024, which will have a Springtime, flower theme like Hanamatsuri. 2024 is also the Year of the Dragon.

Origami combined with ikebana becomes “Oribana”, photo courtesy of Tucson Origami Club FB page

Stay tuned to this website and our FB Page for further information. To volunteer, contact communications@southernazjapan.org.

“Paprika” Film at Loft Cinema from July 28 to August 3, 2023




“Based on a novel by Japanese science fiction writer Yasutaka Tsutsui, the brilliant and unsettling animated thriller Paprika explores the space where dreams and reality collide in a kaleidoscopic mindscape. Techno-geek Kosaku Tokita has just invented the DC Mini – a revolutionary machine that allows scientists to enter and record a subject’s dreams. But an evil cabal steals the DC Mini and uses the device to create a mass nightmare, which causes all hell to break loose. Psychotherapist Atsuko Chiba uses her alter-identity, “dream detective” Paprika, to intervene. Entering the collective nightmare, she faces extraordinary danger thanks to a bizarre parade of appliances, toys, and kitsch objects. All of her intelligence and imagination are needed to escape this nightmare and defeat the evil “dream terrorist” behind the sinister plot.  Acclaimed filmmaker Satoshi Kon (Tokyo Godfathers) expertly moves through the permeable boundaries separating fantasy and reality, confirming his reputation as one of the most innovative directors working in animation today. (Dir. by Satoshi Kon, 2006, Japan, in Japanese with English subtitles, 90 mins., Rated R)”

1 HR 30 MIN | R

Released 2006