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/


Haiku Hike

Downtown Tucson’s urban poetry hike. Coming soon in 2021

“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.

How it Works

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

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

2020 entry forms now closed.”

The 2020 2nd annual haiku hike was postponed indefinitely in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for the 2021 update



Yume Japanese Gardens re-opening with Magical Evening Lights on the World of Ukiyo-e on Feb. 25, 26, 27

“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 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.

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 gardens.”

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


Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way, will be opening again for the Spring at 9:30 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 25. They were temporarily closed due to rising cases of COVID-19 since January 7, 2021.


Arizona Matsuri in Phoenix Feb. 27 and 28, 2021 (virtual)

Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers, Suzuyuki-Kai dancers and Arizona Kyudo Kai archers, all from Tucson, will all be performing again on the virtual stages. Tshirts are for sale on the website, and you can also send in haiku for the 7th annual contest.

Virtual live stream will be Sat. Feb. 27, 10 to 7 p.m. and Sun. Feb. 28, 10 to 5 p.m.

_Online schedule for both days: https://www.azmatsuri.org/program-schedule-2021. Listed below are Tucson performers.

Saturday Feb. 27:

10 to 11 a.m. Suzuyuki Kai dancers

2 to 3 p.m. Az Kyudo Kai from UA (archery)

3 to 4 p.m. Suzuyuki Kai dancers

5:30 to 6 p.m. Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers

6 to 7 p.m. Akiko Victorson, calligraphy

Sunday Feb. 28

11 to 12 p.m. Suzuyuki Kai dancers

12 to 1 p.m. Takoyaki Balls Food truck/booth

12 to 1 p.m. Odaiko Sonora concert at Green Valley

4 to 5 p.m. Odaiko Sonora; Hiro Tashima (ceramics) at PCC West


HInamatsuri (Girls’ Day) doll exhibit at Yume Japanese Gardens from Feb. 25 to March 7

Girls’ Day is celebrated on March 3 (3/3) of each year in Japanese culture, with gifts of dolls and serving favorite foods

GIRLS’ DAY DOLL EXHIBIT at Yume Japanese Gardens, 2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson

“From February 25 through March 7, 2021In early March, Japanese parents display handcrafted miniatures of the Emperor and Empress and retainers in the sumptuous court robes of 1,000 years ago honoring daughters on Girls’ Day. Our colorful dolls – more than a century old – will amaze you with their elaborate details. Free for members and with regular Gardens admission.” www.yumegardens.org

Also ongoing is Girls’ Day doll exhibit at Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures (4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive, Tucson), from Feb. 9 to March 3, 2021: https://theminitimemachine.org/exhibitions/girls-day-display/


Authors Janice Nimura and Mark Oshiro coming (virtually) to 2021 Tucson Festival of Books on March 6 and 7

“Janice P. Nimura is an author whose work includes “Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back,” which was a New York Times Notable book in 2015. She has written essays and book reviews for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Salon and LitHub, among others.

Nimura has also received a Public Scholar Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of her work on “The Doctors Blackwell.””

She is married to a Japanese National from Tokyo and lived in Japan for several years.


Visit website |  

Scheduled events:Who Makes History?What makes history, who makes it and why are some stories told – and some aren’t? Historians Janice Nimura, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and Susan Crane come together to discuss these intriguing questions and much more.

Non-Fiction Stage 2 (Seats 1000)
Sat, Mar 6, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
History / Biography

Panelists: Susan CraneJacquelyn Dowd HallJanice Nimura
Moderator: Susan Crane


“Mark Oshiro is the award-winning author of the young adult novels Anger Is a Gift and Each of Us is a Desert. Their middle grade debut, The Insiders, will be released in late 2021. When they are not writing, they run the online Mark Does Stuff universe and are trying to pet every dog in the world.”

Mark was adopted by a Japanese/Hawaiian father, originally from the island of Lanai. He has spent a lot of time on Oahu.


Visit website |  

Scheduled events:Fantasy Worlds of Power and DeceptionJoin these three young adult authors who built dark fantasy worlds and high-octane tales of power, betrayal, sacrifice and love set in Greek mythology, ancient Arabia and treacherous deserts. These haunting tales grab hold of the reader and don’t let go.

CT Stage 3 (Seats 1000)
Sun, Mar 7, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Children / Teens

Panelists: Alexandra BrackenHafsah FaizalMark Oshiro
Moderator: Michelle Mohrweis

Info at www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org.


Spring Ikebana Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens on March 11 to 14, 18 to 21

March 11-14/18-21, 2021 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm

“Ikebana, also known as “the Way of the Flowers”, is the meditative art of Japanese floral arrangements, and its ideals embody the essence of taste, beauty, and oneness with nature. During our annual Spring Ikebana Festival, traditional to contemporary artworks will be presented by local artists and will show the interesting variation in techniques and styles of the different Ikebana schools.

Timed-slotted tickets (slots available every two/three hours). Last admission at 3:30 pm.

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

Purchase Tickets”