Tucson Japanese Festival cancelled again for January 2022

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and rise in cases due to the delta variant, the SAJCC Council decided in September 2021 that it would be safer not to host the popular Tucson Japanese Festival in January 2022. Hopefully the festival will return in January 2023. The 2021 Tucson Japanese Festival was also cancelled due to the pandemic, which came to Tucson in March, 2020: http://www.southernazjapan.org/sajcc-council-decides-to-cancel-annual-tucson-japanese-festival-for-2021/

Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition started up this festival in January 2014 to celebrate the New Year’s with mochi pounding at Yume Japanese Gardens, then moved to the Rhythm Industry Performance Factory (home of Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers) for a year. Thereafter the festival grew and needed a larger venue, so it was held at Pima Community College Downtown for 3 years, then to the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center for 2 years. Each year the festival has grown in popularity and in January 2020 drew over 2,000 attendees.

The SAJCC Council vote to postpone was 11-0-2 (eleven yes, zero no, two abstentions).
SAJCC Council members are: Sharon Arceneaux, Crystal Akazawa, Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, Clint Cooper,  M. Fumie Craig,  Karen Falkenstrom, Yuki Ibuki, Miyako McKay, K Negley, Miki Pimienta, Ginger Sugimoto,  Dr. Min & Evelyn Yanagihashi. (Founding members are Crystal, Carolyn, M., Yuki, Min & Evelyn).

Info can be obtained from SAJCC Director Yuki Ibuki at yuki@southernazjapan.org.

Fall Ikebana Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens in October 2021

Fall Ikebana festival at Yume Japanese Gardens on Oct. 21 to 24, Oct. 28 to 31, 2021

October 21-24/28-31, 2021 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

“Our seasonal Ikebana Festival is back!!!

Enjoy dozens of signature floral compositions highlighting the wide breadth of flower arrangement styles in Japan’s most distinctive art form.

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

Includes entry to the entire Gardens. (2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson)

Advanced ticket purchase is required.”

Purchase Tickets

“Asian Americans” filmmaker Renee Tajima-Pena at UA on October 19

Asian Americans: A History of Identity, Contributions & Challenges”

Oct. 19 @ 7 PM
Health Sciences Innovation Building (HSIB)
1670 E Drachman St, 85721


“Filmmaker Renee Tajima-Peña’s award-winning PBS docuseries Asian Americans is the most ambitious chronicle of the Asian American story in the United States. Told through individual lives and personal histories, Asian Americans explores the impact of this group on the country’s past, present, and future. The series traces the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping American history and identity, from the first wave of Asian immigrants in the 1850s to the social and cultural turmoil of the twentieth century to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world. Tajima-Peña will share the details of her journey crafting this groundbreaking series.

Renee Tajima-Pena is an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker and Professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA. Tajima-Pena’s films focus on themes of immigration, race, ethnicity, gender, and social justice. Her most notable films include Who Killed Vincent Chin? My America…or Honk if You Love Buddha, Calavera Highway, Skate Manzanar, Labor Women, No Más Bebés. She is the series producer/showrunner of the PBS docuseries, Asian Americans, which explores the Asian American experience. Tajima-Pena co-founded the May 19 Project, a social media campaign focusing on the legacy of AAPI solidarity with other communities. “

Sponsored by Arizona Humanities.

REGISTRATION via evenbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/asian-americans-a-history-of-identity-contributions-challenges-tickets-182303082427

New Kimono Exhibit at Yume Japanese Gardens from October 15 to December 31, 2021

New Exhibit at Yume Japanese Gardens and Museum of Tucson –” A selection of valuable vintage and modern kimono, from the collections of Yume Japanese Gardens and Museum of Tucson, will be on display at the Gardens from October 15th through December 31st, 2021.

Kimono, the iconic traditional Japanese robe, so easily definable by its simple straight seamed “T” shape, shows remarkable complexity in its craftsmanship, extreme versatility in its use, and dynamic ways of adapting to the evolution of taste and society.

Ever since its origins, the kimono (着物, literally translated in English as ‘thing to wear’) has been a blank canvas for the decorator to create a wearable piece of art.

The Kimono Monogatari – “Kimono Tales” exhibit will showcase stories weaved, embroidered, and dyed over a variety of vivid textiles, revealing the exceptional skills and aesthetic values of artists in the last century.”

Advanced ticket reservation is required. Free event with Gardens admission.

For more information, visit yumegardens.org or email Patricia Deridder at yume.gardens@gmail.com.

Purchase tickets: https://www.yumegardens.org/purchase-tickets

Yume sets capacity limits to safeguard visitors and staff and observes Arizona Department of Health Services guidelines for COVID-19 management. Timed admission tickets, purchased online, are required for entry; physical distancing and facial coverings are also required, in all indoor and outdoor spaces.

Japanese cultural performances, art & food at Tucson Meet Yourself Reconnect in October

Tucson Meet Yourself Reconnect folklife festival will be held this October 8 to 10, 2021 at Jacome Plaza in downtown Tucson. This plaza is outside of the Joel D. Valdez main library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Please check their website for COVID-19 guidelines.

On Saturday October 9, Mari Kaneta & her Suzuyuki-kai traditional dancers will perform at 3 p.m. on the Lawn Stage, and Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers will perform on the Church Stage at 5 p.m.

Also the popular takoyaki octopus balls food booth will be serving Japanese dishes at booth F31, all 3 days.

Suzuyuki Kai dancers

Odaiko Sonora performing onstage

Hours of the festival are 11 to 6 daily, with performances going on till 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Schedule 2021 – Tucson Meet Yourself

Tomomi Katz (far left) and her takoyaki team:

Chieko “Chi” Nakano will again be teaching origami folding, and Akiko Victorson her shodo/calligraphy at the Folk Arts area. Chi will be in the Talking Tent of the Folks Arts area on Friday Oct. 8, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Chi Nakano teaching origami, photo by Steven Meckler

Akiko Victorson teaching calligraphy