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 (postponed indefinitely)

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.”

Haiku Hike


Beginning Ohara Ikebana: 4-Part Series (online) at Tucson Botanical Gardens in October

4-part series: October 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5

“Create beauty and reduce stress through Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of arranging flowers in the style most pleasing to the eye. Learn from the Ohara School of Ikebana whose instruction is the result of 600 years of evolving artistic development in Japan. Develop your practice incrementally over four sessions. Price includes a vessel and kenzan available for pick-up at the Gardens, you provide the flowers.

A vessel and kenzan is included in the price of the class. These materials are available for pick-up at Tucson Botanical Gardens. Please contact Katie Rogerson, Director of Education, to make arrangements for pick-up: education1@tucsonbotanical.org or 520-326-9686 ext. *39

You will also need a notebook, bucket, towel, and shears.Sign up for this class 

Online class participants will receive a Zoom link for the live class two hours before the class begins.

All online classes are recorded and participants receive a video replay that is available for two weeks after the date of the class.”

20% TBG Member discount

Time: 10:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Price: $160

Ohara School of Ikebana — JoAnn Hyde


Tucson Meet Yourself goes virtual in 2020, with some Japanese performances and food trucks roundup in October

Go to www.tucsonmeetyourself.org for all information

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Tucson Meet Yourself (TMY) festival is online for performances, and as for food, having several food truck roundup weekends. Schedule below for Japanese culture.

October 8 Mari Kaneta traditional dance performances at 1 p.m and 3 p.m. (see website Calendar for online links)

Mari Kaneta & Suzuyuki-Kai dancers

October 15 Odaiko Sonora taiko drum performances at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (see website Calendar for online links)

Odaiko Sonora drummers

October 10 & 11 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at Mercado San Agustin, 125 S. Avenida del Convento (west side), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

October 24 & 25 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Ft. Lowell Rd. (central), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

Tomomi Katz on far left, with her helpers at her Takoyaki Balls food booth, photo courtesy of Steven Meckler for Tucson Meet Yourself

Also, new this year is Lit Up: Traditional Artists on Public Walls on Friday Oct. 2nd, from dusk to 10 p.m. Three venues will be lit up at the Aloft Hotel, Tucson City Court, Winterhaven Square. Participating for Japanese culture are:

Dance Traditions: 
Mari Kaneta,  Japanese traditional dance

Folk Arts Traditions:
Chieko (Chi) Nakano, Origami
Akiko Victorson, Japanese Shodo Calligraphy

Lit Up: Traditional Artists on Public Walls