Learn more about the culture of Japan by sitting in on an of the cultural presentations at the 2017 festival.

Lost Voices: The Ainu of Northern Japan
Dori White
Regnier Center, Rm 183 from 2-3 pm

Irankarapte! Welcome to a brief overview of the Ainu; the mysterious Native Peoples of Northern Japan. We will explore the history and culture of the fascinating Ainu and touch onto why their voices have been silenced and the impact of that on the modern day Ainu descendants. There will also be a chance to recreate Ainu designs using kirigami and look at traditional Ainu pottery.

Samurai Influence on Modern Japanese Business Practices
Matt Dobbins
Recital Hall, from 2:30-3:30 pm

This presentation will focus on the link between samurai leadership in feudal Japan and modern Japanese business leadership. Effective communication strategies for doing business with Japanese companies will also be presented.

The Samurai Sword
Earle Brigance
GEB Auditorium, from 11-12 pm and 12:30-1:30 pm

In Mr. Brigance’s opinion the Samurai sword is one of the most unique and in depth art objects in the history of the world. Through the fog of antiquity, there remain Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, which are still held in reverence by the people of Japan to this day, they are the Sacred Mirror, the Coma-Shaped Beads and the Samurai sword.

The Samurai sword is often referred to as the soul of the Samurai. The most prized possessions of all wealthy Japanese family is their families’ Samurai sword collection, which reflects their families’ history and has been passed down from one generation to the next generation. It takes approximately six months, to produce a traditional Samurai sword. The skill level required to make such a sword is as high as any treasured art objects requiring years of dedicated study and training.

Collectors of Samurai swords consider them to be not so much as a weapon but rather a work of art. Throughout history, the great Samurai sword smiths, such as Masamune and Sadamune, are held in very high esteem, and thought of as one of the world’s greatest artists. Their exceptional and extraordinary work is valued on a level with artist such as Rembrandt, Michelangelo or Picasso.

Calligraphy Workshop
Naoko Nadtochiy in Regnier Center, Rm 175 from 11-12 pm
Yayoi Shinoda in Regnier Center, Rm 175 from 2-3 pm

Japanese calligraphy is the writing of the Japanese language. Try your hand at writing Japanese characters with a brush and ink with Japanese native experts.

Tohoku Daishinsai: Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Disaster
Cindy Parry
Recital Hall from 1:10-2:10 pm

March 11, 2017 marked the sixth anniversary of the triple disaster in Japan: 9.0 earthquake (5th worst in recorded history) followed by a devastating tsunami followed by a nuclear disaster (worst in recorded history) created when four of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima failed as a result of both the earthquake and tsunami.

Miniature Trees: An Introduction to the Ancient Art of Bonsai
Kathy J Schlesinger
Regnier Center, Rm 183 from 12:30-1:30 pm

The translation of Bonsai simply means pot or tray planted. However Bonsai is one of the oldest forms of ‘living’ art as trees and plants are grown in containers, artistically designed for the viewers’ enjoyment. This presentation will provide a general overview. Topics discussed will include Chinese and Japanese origins, philosophy, and description of Bonsai styles, tools, general horticulture procedures, pot selection and the design process. We will wrap up with a review of the various styles using slides featuring examples of different plants used in this unique art. This will also include flowering Japanese Azaleas and several examples of some of the oldest trees in Japan. There will be time for questions and answers.

Japanese Conversation Workshop
Kazuyo Rumbach
Regier Center, Rm 181 from 11-12 pm and 2-3 pm

Attend a Japanese language workshop to learn about the Japanese language, and with the aid of the instructor, learn some basics of the language. This workshop is for those who are interested in Japanese language – no previous knowledge of the language is required. You will learn basic words, everyday greetings and writing systems.

Kimono Demonstration
Sachie Stroder and Miyako Fraley
Recital Hall from 11:50-12:50 pm

Learn from Mrs. Stroder all about traditional Japanese Kimonos and Yukata. Also, you will be able to see them demonstrate what is involved in putting on a Kimono or Yukata.

Japanese Garden Design
Koji Morimoto
Regnier Center, Rm 183 from 11-12 pm and 3:30-4:30 pm

The Japanese garden making process and idea by Koji Morimoto.

20 years of his design knowledge to help you have a dream garden.

Sharing Japanese Culture Through Aikido: The Way of Harmony
Dr. Neil Segal
Recital Hall from 10:30-11:30 am

Aikido has its origins in the centuries-old traditions of the Japanese martial arts. It is a form of self-refinement, a way of life for polishing the self through rigorous physical training and spiritual discipline. It is an art of self-defense against an unprovoked attack. The guiding principle of Aikido is harmony: inner harmony of mind, body, and spirit. Aikido was developed in Japan by an extraordinary teacher, who realized that victory over others would not bring people together. Aikido is based on the non-violent resolution of conflict. The uniqueness of Aikido lies in its training to bring control the situation without harming anyone. Thus, men, women, and children of all ages can train together. Aikido training also introduces Japanese history, language, culture, art and spirit.

Shibori Dyeing for Children
Sarah M. Oliver
Regnier Center, Rm 175 from 12:30-1:30 pm

In America, the word tie-dye might conjure images of 1960’s intensely, rainbow-colored T-shirts. But in fact, tie-dye is merely an American term for one style of the Japanese art of shibori. Shibori is an ancient art form that dates back to 8th century Japan, and encompasses the various techniques of binding, twisting, clamping, folding and stitching fabric in order to be dyed.

Itajimie shibori is the process of folding and clamping fabric to be dyed. As geometrical patterns usually emerge in the process of itajime shibori, an easy way to begin learning this style of shibori is to combine it with origami, the Japanese art form of folding paper. Participants will utilize origami techniques to fold, clamp, and bind their way to a beautifully dyed piece.

The Traditions of Dyeing and Embellishing Kimono
Sarah M. Oliver
Recital Hall from 3:50-4:50 pm

The simplicity of kimono construction provides a perfect canvas for intricate dyeing and opulent embellishment. This lecture will explore the tradition and history involved in creating these wearable masterpieces and the masterful dyeing and embroidery techniques developed since the 8th century.

Origami – “Unfolding the Basics
Kotoko Grass
Regnier Center, Rm 145 from 11-12pm and 2-3 pm

In this workshop, you will learn how to fold various origami pieces. Suggested for children ages 10 and older as well as teachers and others interested in origami.

Temari Demonstration
Lolly Buxton
Regnier Center, Rm 145 from 12:30-1:30 pm

Japanese Thread Balls. Stitched to create complex designs.

Eco-Friendly Japanese Art in Everyday Life
Ayako Mizumura
Regnier Center, Rm 145 from 3:30-4:30 pm

Join the furoshiki wrapping workshop and learn the traditional Japanese way of folding and wrapping goods with a piece of square fabric called furoshiki. Once viewed as “old-fashioned” in modern Japan, furoshiki has been revived and is gaining more popularity as an eco-friendly, multi-purpose wrapping cloth. Available in different sizes, fabric materials, colors and designs, furoshiki offers an artistic yet practical way to carry various objects such as single or multiple wine bottles, bento boxes, groceries, and even heavier items like books and laptops. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to wrap 2 – 3 objects with different techniques and styles.

Kanji Made Easy
Tracie Whiting-Kipper
Regnier Center, Rm 181 from 12:30-1:30 pm

Is it possible to learn to read Kanji in less than a year? Try out the Heisig method of Kanji acquisition in this fast paced and fun session while exploring the written word from authentic sources. True beginners and seasoned students will all find ways to expand their reading levels from average to extraordinary.

Introduction to Reading Japanese
Tracie Whiting-Kipper
Regnier Center, Rm 181 from 3:30-4:30 pm

Come to this workshop and venture into the world of written Japanese whether you are a student or just curious. Explore the different writing systems, how they came to be, faster methods to learning them, as well as resources and tools to help you explore the written world of Japanese.

Paper Doll Bookmark Making and Book Sale
Noriko Gordon and Yayoi Igeta
Regnier Center, Rm 146 from 11-6 pm

The Games of Go and Shoji
Steve Woodsmall and The Four Dragons Go Club (Daniel Gentry)

Come to this workshop to play actual games, see demonstrations and competition games, and hear a brief discussion of the history and rules of “go” and “shogi.”

Learn about the game “go” that inspires laughter and anger, love and obsession; that creates and destroys worlds. Based on three simple rules, the game that inspired the world famous series “Hikaru no Go.”

Children’s Mikoshi
The James Family

Japanese children carrying traditional-style festival float

Tea Ceremony Demonstration
Ura Senke by Dale Slusser in Polsky Theatre from 12-1 pm
Omote Senke by Yoko Hiraoka in Polsky Theatre from 1:45-2:45 pm

Attendees at the 2017 GKC Japan Festival will have the opportunity to witness, and several attendees will have the opportunity to participate in, a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. The Tea Master who will perform this beautiful and special ceremony is Ms. Hiraoka who is a native of Kyoto, Japan and who currently resides in Colorado. Ms. Hiraoko will perform the Tea Ceremony dressed in a formal Kimono. Attendees will all have the opportunity to learn about the history and practice of the Tea Ceremony.

This is a special opportunity to see the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony performed by a Japanese Tea Master whose training started in Kyoto as a young child.

The Tea Ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a traditional Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha, powdered green tea. In Japan, the tea ceremony is called chanoyu or chadô/sadô.

The formal Japanese Tea Ceremony is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one’s attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is about preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart.

The Japanese tea ceremony developed as a “transformative practice,” and began to evolve its own aesthetic, in particular that of “wabi-sabi.” “Wabi” represents the inner, or spiritual, experiences of human lives. Its original meaning indicated quiet or sober refinement, or subdued taste characterized by humility, restraint, simplicity, naturalism, profundity, imperfection and asymmetry, emphasizing simple, unadorned objects and architectural space, and celebrating the mellow beauty that time and care impart to materials. “Sabi,” on the other hand, represents the outer, or material side of life. Originally, it meant “worn,” “weathered” or“decayed.”

By the 16th century, tea drinking had spread to all levels of society in Japan. Sen no Rikyu, perhaps the most well-known and still revered historical figure in tea ceremony, followed his master Takeno Jōō’s concept of “Ichi-go Ichi-e,” a philosophy that each meeting should be treasured, for it can never be reproduced. His teachings perfected many newly developed forms in architecture, gardens, and art to the full development of the Way of Tea. The principles he set forward – harmony (和 wa), respect (敬 kei), purity (清 sei), and tranquility (寂 jaku) – are still central to the tea ceremony as it is performed today.