Upcoming Events

Posted by Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, Editor

Please click on the Calendar link for more information on Japanese cultural events in Southern Arizona

For Upcoming Japanese Movies, go to our separate link: http://www.southernazjapan.org/upcoming-movies/



Tucson Japanese Language School schedule for 2018 to 2019 (ongoing)

※ このお知らせは、補習校に登録されているアドレスに広く送らせていただいています。


“We are very excited to announce that we are opening classes for students who don’t have a Japanese background next fall! Last three years, Tucson Japanese Language School has been dedicated to providing Japanese children opportunities to learn Japanese language and culture in a school setting with their peers and also helping families to immerse their children cross-cultural experiences to deepen understanding in Japanese culture and tradition.
This coming academic year, we would like to invite children in all over Tucson who is interested in Japanese language and culture to experience our one of a kind program. Please see the attachments below for the details and see if your child qualifies.
If you wish to enroll your child, please fill out Enrollment Intent and mail it along with $30 one-time enrollment fee by July 20, 2018. Your child(ren) will be placed in the order that this letter was received for each child. Please note that we are not obligated to secure your child’s spot until all documents have been completed and full or partial tuition has been paid in time.”
Feel free to email us if you have any questions. 
2018 – 2019 School Calendar
1803 E Seneca St. Tucson, AZ 85719
Tucson Japanese Language School Managers
 Hitomi McKnight
 Minami Espinosa

Girls’ Day doll display at Mini Time Machine of Miniatures from Feb. 5 to March 3 (ongoing)

February 5, 2019 through March 3, 2019

“Hinamatsuri or Girls’ Day is an annual holiday in Japan held on March 3rd, which honors the health and well-being of girls. The holiday celebration includes special foods and sweets and the exhibit of a plum tree, flowers and a Hina doll display. The doll display is set up by families in mid-February to rid the girls of bad spirits and to renew and strengthen their character. The custom of erecting a doll display is rooted in a traditional belief that dolls have the power to contain bad spirits. To rid their homes of evil spirits, ancient Japanese people had a ritual called Hinanagashi, in which straw Hina dolls were set afloat on a boat down a river out to sea. In some regions of Japan, people follow this tradition and float the dolls from the Hina display on Girls’ Day.

The Hina doll display includes ornamental dolls representing the Emperor, Empress and their court set on a seven-tiered stand covered with a red carpet or cloth. Since Hinamatsuri was first celebrated in the Heian period (10th and 11th centuries) the dolls are dressed in the court garb of that period. The Imperial dolls are placed at the top of the display followed by three tiers featuring particular attendants or musicians. The bottom two tiers are filled with palatial items such as furniture, tools and carriages. Traditionally the Hina doll display is set up in February and disassembled no later than March 4th because it is believed that setting up the display early and clearing it out promptly will bring an early marriage for the girls. Failure to do so could mean a late marriage or no marriage at all.

The Girls’ Day Display at The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures is a five-tiered display including 15 dolls and other symbolic accessories. The display dates to the 1950s and was donated to the museum in 2014 by Nancy Phillips.”


Phone: 520.881.0606
Fax: 520.881.9307
4455 East Camp Lowell Drive
Tucson, AZ, 85712


New Photography exhibit at Yume Japanese Gardens from Feb. 9 to May 4, 2019 at Yume Japanese Gardens  (ongoing)



The delicate pink “sakura,” or cherry blossom, is the beloved herald of spring in Japan. Outings to parks to stroll and picnic under blooming cherry trees and to reflect on the fleeting character of life as petals fall are especially popular with residents of the country’s heavily built-up cities.

Opening next February 9 at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, the exhibition “Sakura: Photography by Mark Taylor” departs from the usual idyllic portrayals of cherry blossom season. Instead, it embraces the opposition visible in the sight of nature flowering amid the dense visual grid of buildings, power lines, freeways, and signs in Japan’s urban jungle.

“I looked for the tension between the traditional and the contemporary,” says Taylor. “People have been photographed often picnicking under cherry trees. I wanted to avoid that and present the blossoms in a modern context, using the hardscape of cities as a strong graphic background.”

Although composing his color photographs in a contemporary spirit, Taylor also uses cropping and fragmentation and other techniques employed in traditional Ukiyo-e woodblock prints to offer a unique view of cherry blossom time.

In one image in the exhibition, a yellow commuter train hurtles past a house flanked by a blooming tree, an eruption of restlessness into tranquility. In another, a tree invitingly extends its canopy of flowers, but cannot be reached, standing isolated behind a hurricane fence with a sign proclaiming “Fire Cistern.”

“Sakura” opens in the Art Gallery of Yume Japanese Gardens on February 9, 2019, with a free artist reception for Taylor from 5 to 7 pm. The show runs until May 4, and all photographs in the exhibition will be sale.

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Yume Japanese Gardens (yumegardens.org) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, at 2130 N. Alvernon Way. It features six examples of classical Japanese landscape design, a replica traditional Japanese cottage, a museum of Japanese art and handicrafts, an art gallery, and a gift shop. It also holds seasonal Japanese festivals, tea ceremonies, and Ikebana classes. For more information about “Sakura” by Mark Taylor or the Gardens, contact Patricia Deridder at (520) 272-3200 or yume.gardens@gmail.com.


Hina Doll Display (for Girls’ Day) at Yume Japanese  Gardens on Feb. 15 to March 12 (ongoing)

“Honoring daughters on Girl’s Day in early March (3rd), Japanese parents display handcrafted miniatures of the Emperor and Empress and retainers in the sumptuous court robes of 1,000 years ago. Our colorful dolls – more than a century old – will amaze you with their elaborate detail. Dates: Friday, February 15 – Tuesday, March 12”



Spring Ikebana festival at Yume Japanese Gardens, from Feb. 19 to 27 (ongoing)


photo courtesy of Patricia Deridder

Spring Ikebana Festival

“Yume is the Tucson region’s first and only authentic Japanese gardens, and Ikebana is the traditional art of Japanese flower arranging. Ikebana – “living flowers” – uniquely emphasizes shape, line, and form by giving equal weight to the branches, stems, and leaves of a plant rather than merely arranging its blooms. Classical Ikebana dates to the 15th century and successor schools have emerged since. In all of them, deep-rooted design rules and a Zen-like discipline subtly harmonize nature and the hand of the arranger.

Some 50 signature arrangements created by students and teachers of five major schools of Ikebana practice will adorn the grounds and buildings of Yume during the festival. One of the largest such combined exhibitions in Arizona, it offers an unusually broad look at the variety of styles in Japanese flower arranging. A further attraction lies in the vases in which the arrangements are displayed, many of them handmade in Japan with a refined elegance.

Enjoy dozens of signature floral compositions highlighting the wide breadth of flower arrangement styles in Japan’s most distinctive art form.”
Admission: $15 adults; $5 children under 15. Includes entry to the entire Gardens and museum. Dates: Tuesday, February 19 – Wednesday, February 27 Time: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Arizona Matsuri coming up on Feb. 23 and 24 in downtown Phoenix

Mari Kaneta’s Suzuyuki Kai dancers to perform twice: 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, 2:40 p.m. on Feb. 24 on Plaza Stage. They will also be performing on Feb. 23 at 10:20 a.m. on the same stage as part of the Opening Ceremony.

Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers to perform on Sat. Feb. 23, at 10:45 a.m. on ASU Stage.

Arizona Kyudo Kai (archers) to perform on Monroe Stage on Feb. 23 or 24, time tba.


If you can volunteer some time, please go to this link: https://www.azmatsuri.org/volunteer-1


Childrens’ Day celebration at Yume Japanese Gardens on March 9

” A national holiday in Japan, Children’s Day is celebrated May 5. Get a head start at our festival, in which kids can wear kimonos, join in fun activities and games, and try tasty Japanese food and snacks available for purchase. “

Saturday March 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson

Editor Carolyn Sugiyama Classen will be teaching the Japanese card game of hanafuda from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Hanafuda is popular in Hawaii and Korea, but not in Japan. She grew up in Hawaii learning and playing this colorful game.