San Jose Japantown Immersive May 12, 2018

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Swing dancers at the Swingposium

The San Jose Japantown Immersive was a inspiring and entertaining community cultural celebration of the local performing artists, artisans, and businesses who live or work in Japan-town held on May 12, 2018. It was also the 45 year anniversary of internationally known San Jose Taiko. The event was also a way for the public to understand the history and culture of Japan-town and it’s people. The highlight of the event was the breathtaking Swingposium with Wesley Jazz Ensemble, Epic Immersive, and San Jose Taiko and the Finale with The Get Down Dance Studio, DJ Cutso, and San Jose Taiko. There were also a public art piece with art studio Arsenal, swing dance lessons, Nichi Bei Busan kimono photo booth, old black and white samurai movies, and LED uchiwa fan making.

http://www.taiko.org/japantownimmersive

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Sports Day

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Sports Day in Akashi City Japan on October 9th 2017

Sports Day 体育の日 is a national holiday in October for school children in Japan. The day gives students a chance to learn skills and compete against each other. It is a nice family activity where the entire family can have fun together. There are usually running races, tug-of-war, and ball tossing games involved.

Nostalgia

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Super heroes and monsters playing a video game is the concept of a new mural in San Jose Japan-town. It was created and painted by Francisco Ramirez a local artist from Local Color in downtown San Jose. Included in the mural are characters such as Godzilla, Voltron, Ultraman, King Kong, He-man, and Lion-o (Thundercats) which Francisco grew up with. The mural was painted on the side of Zonkey a toy store located on 161 Jackson Street in San Jose.

Okonomiyaki

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Hiroshima born Shunichi Matsumura is a 26 year owner of Okunomi House, a Hiroshima style teppan-yaki okonomiyaki restuarant in Yokohama. Okonomiyaki is a favorite of mine and the ingredients of okonomiyaki often include: okonomiyaki flour, eggs, cabbage, pork (bacon), shrimp or other seafood, and topped with a variety of condiments like sweet sauce (Okonomi Sauce), mayonnaise, dried seaweed and dried fish flakes.

Shirakawa-go (Shirakawa Village)

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Shirakawa-go (Shirakawa Village) is a World Cultural Heritage site since 1995 in the North-western part of Gifu Prefecture in Japan. Is is also located in the historical region known as “Hida” and it is also known as “Hida Shirakawa.” At the village there are 114 thatched roofs structures as well as a rice field and a river running through the town.

Matsumoto Castle

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Matsumoto Castle was built by Ishikawa Kazumasa and his son Yasunaga during the Bunroku Period (1593-1594). It is considered a complete and elegant castle among Japanese castles due to the black roofing and towers and is considered a National Treasure. It is called a hirajiro because the castle was built on plains instead of a hill. It is a popular cherry blossom spot during April.

Yokohama Jazz Promenade 2017

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Group performing near Sakuragicho Station in Yokohama

I attended the impressive Yokohama Jazz Promenade 2017 in October. The festival was held on October 7th and 8th and included over several hundred jazz performers. The event was immense and it included about 33 venues, 25 jazz clubs, professionals and amateurs, and foreign musicians. The Jazz Promenade Yokohama was started in 1993 by citizens and musicians in Yokohama. Every year over 120,000 visitors attend the popular music festival. Yokohama is also called “Jazz Hometown of Japan.”
http://www.jazzpro.jp

Thing Family

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Halloween in San Jose Japan-town is a popular annual event for families. Some of the scheduled events were trick or treat activities with merchants and a local church, arts and crafts, San Jose Taiko performance, a haunted house, and a San Jose Taiko dance party to end the day.

Costumes in reference to Dr. Seuss’s characters from “Cat in the Hat.” Thing 1 in carriage and Thing 2 upcoming baby