Upcoming Events

Postd 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/


2nd Annual Haiku HIke contest in downtown Tucson ongoing till March 10; winners to be announced in early April

UPDATE 4/1/2020: The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to shift our priorities and resources to the health and safety of the downtown community. This includes the many small businesses, residents, employees and patrons who need our full attention during this rapidly evolving situation. As of now, the Haiku Hike is postponed until further notice.

We plan on announcing the winners of this year’s Haiku Hike as soon as we can. We still plan on displaying the 20 winning haiku this year for the public to enjoy. We will continue to post updates to this page.

We want to thank Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center for their partnership.

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus and minimize the long-term disruption of downtown activities, Downtown Tucson Partnership encourages members of the community to follow the guidance of health and government officials. Please visit our website for COVID-19 Resources.

Haiku Hike

“The Downtown Tucson Partnership together with the University of Arizona Poetry Center are proud to announce the 2nd annual Haiku Hike literary competition. Twenty winning haiku poems will be printed on acrylic signage and displayed in downtown planters located on Congress Street and Stone Avenue in Downtown Tucson. These signs will provide visual and cultural interest throughout the spring season, beginning April 3.

What is a Haiku…

… a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven and five.

All haiku entries will be judged by Tucson’s Poet Laureate, TC Tolbert.

This year’s theme will be “Living in the Present Moment.” Learn more about how to write a haiku here.

Only one entry per person, with a maximum of three haiku allowed. Submissions will be accepted through March 10. Winners will be announced on Downtown Tucson Partnership’s website, social media and by email to all entrants on March 19. All winners will receive public recognition and have their work featured on public signage, online and in the media.

A few general rules:

  1. One entry per person, with a maximum of three haiku allowed.
  2. Once your haiku are submitted, you aren’t able to edit them. So be sure to look them over before you submit.”



The 1,000 Cranes, 1,000 Dreams Project at Yume Japanese Gardens

“Yume has launched a signal community project to provide hope and healing to hearts
frayed by the coronavirus. It’s called 1,000 Cranes, 1,000 Dreams.
The project takes its name from the meaning of Yume in English – “dream” – and from
the graceful and elegant Japanese crane, said in fable to live for 1,000 years.
Fruit of its mythically long life, the Japanese crane enjoys hope in a happy future. Our
is to instill a similar healing confidence in all who participate in 1,000 Cranes, 1,000
. Our means to achieve this lies in the Japanese tradition of Senbazuru, according to
those who devote time and effort to make origami cranes see their most heartfelt
We invite you to join 1,000 Cranes, 1,000 Dreams, to shrink the darkness of disaster and brighten the light of your well-being.
To take part, we ask that you and as many of your family members and friends as you
may persuade each make at least one origami crane and contribute it to Yume. This
is not an amusement to distract you from a perilous pandemic. Rather, it’s a profound
of love and generosity toward others, and of authentic care for yourself. You’ll find that
in a meaningful collective creative achievement opens an avenue to personal restoration for you.
Link here for video instructions on how to make your crane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTY-nGYYq_c

Birds made of any paper without images can be mailed to the Gardens at 2130 N.
Way, Tucson, AZ, 85712, or dropped in a box inside the parking lot gate.
When Yume reopens – we’re temporarily closed in the interest of public health – your
origami birds will be displayed with hundreds more all across the Gardens. You’ll see
fluttering in our wisteria and pines, perching on boulders, flocking on bamboo gates and fences, and flying from stone lanterns to stone water basins. 
More about Senbazuru and the Japanese crane
Strings of origami cranes are often hung in Japanese temples and shrines. Offered to
friends, a collection of cranes implies a wish for their prosperity and good health, and
given to newlyweds, it expresses desire for their lasting happiness. Because the
Japanese crane mates for life and guards its nest with especial vigilance, it symbolizes
devotion and fidelity, as well as protectiveness of family. This has won it wide use in
Japan as a decorative motif on wedding kimonos and nuptial sweets.
Feathered mainly in snow-white plumage and with a red crown, Japan’s native crane likewise incarnates purity and beauty. Able to balance perfectly on one leg and yet react
with lightning agility to snare a frog or fish or escape danger, it similarly models emotional control and vital energy, qualities that made it a common crest on warriors’ helmets in
the age of samurai, who saw in the bird inspiration for loyalty, honor and strength. And
with a nearly six-foot-long span of strong and sheltering wings, in Buddhist circles the
Japanese crane figures as a protector of the weak and transporter of souls to the
levels of enlightenment.
Lastly, the Japanese crane is a disciplined, powerful flyer, and in flocks it wheels across
the sky as member of a purposively moving community of supportive and loyal companions. What better bird could there be to embody the nature of 1,000 Cranes,
1,000 Dreams? Join us, and find wings of your own to loft you to hope and healing.”


Cranes can be dropped off at Yume Japanese Gardens (special box) or mailed to
2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712 — starting May 6, 2020.