About the Festival
The Japan Festival is a one-day event held annually at Johnson County Community College. We’re dedicated to educating and entertaining the Greater Kansas City Metro Area through an introduction to Japanese culture.
The Japan Festival is presented by the Heart of America Japan-America Society. Since 1962, the Heart of America Japan-America Society (HAJAS) has made it our mission, “To further the understanding between the peoples of Japan and the Greater Kansas City area by promoting social, cultural and educational exchanges.”
The Festival showcases the traditional culture, pop culture, food and art of Japan, along with the vision, technology, and hopes for the future shared by the people of Japan and the people of the Kansas City area. It features Japanese musical performances, traditional Japanese foods, a Japanese candy artist, Japanese snacks and sweets, a Bazaar shopping extravaganza, exhibits Japanese cultural village for kids, martial arts, anime & manga, workshops, demonstrations, cultural presentations, and more!
During the pandemic, we created an all-digital experience for the Festival. To view videos of performances and workshops, visit our 2020 Virtual Festival page.
Saturday, October 7th, 2023
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Adults: $20
- Students: $15 with proper ID
- Children 6 to 13: $10
- Children 5 and under: Free!
Special Presale Ticket Discount: Buy your tickets online prior to 10/6/23 and receive $5 off your ticket price. Online ticketing coming soon!
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Have questions about the festival? Unable to find something on the website? Contact us and let us know!
The first Greater Kansas City Japan Festival was held on September 13, 1997, on the campus of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Dr. Andrew Tsubaki was the first chairperson of the Japan Festival Committee. At that time there was a Japanese Consulate in Kansas City that was led by Consul General Tatsuo Tanaka. Consul General Tanaka was the driving force behind starting the first festival.
In 2004 the festival was moved to the Johnson County Community College where it is still held today. The 2022 GKCJF will be the sixteenth festival held on the campus of Johnson County Community College.
CONSUL-GENERAL OF JAPAN IN CHICAGO
Consul General Hiroshi Tajima is currently the Consul-General of Japan in Chicago. Until August 2021, he was Deputy Assistant Minister / Deputy Director-General of Economic Affairs Bureau and Foreign Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan. He also held the title of Ambassador in charge of Economic Diplomacy and Senior Official of Japan for APEC.
Previously he was Counsellor (Foreign Policy) at the Cabinet Secretariat, Office of Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan in charge of overall foreign policy. Before returning to Japan, he was Minister (Economic) at the Embassy of Japan in Moscow from 2015 to 2018.
Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989, he has held numerous positions, including Director of the Economic Policy Division, Consular Policy Division, Southwest Asia Division, Central Asia and Caucasus Division and Southeast Asia Economic Partnership Agreement Division, as well as Legal Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York. During 2008 and 2015, he was Official Interpreter to His Majesty the Emperor.
He also served in the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty Division, Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement Division, and National Security Policy Division dealing with National Security issues as well as divisions dealing with foreign affairs with Western European countries and economic relations with North America in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
His first overseas assignment was in the Embassy of Japan in the United Kingdom.
Consul General Tajima has a B.A. in Economics, Keio University, Japan and a M.A. in Politics and Economics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
HONORARY CONSUL OF JAPAN IN KANSAS CITY
On August 1, 2016, the Government of Japan officially appointed Mr. James Satoshi Kanki as the Honorary Consul of Japan in Kansas City.
Honorary Consuls of Japan represent Japan in various jurisdictions. Their responsibilities include providing consultation and support for Japanese nationals, facilitating close relationships with Japan-related organizations and promoting a better understanding of Japan.
Members of the Heart of America Japan-America Society know that Jim Kanki is extremely deserving of this appointment. As life members, he and his wife Lydia have served in numerous board and committee roles. During the 2016 Shinnenkai celebration, Jim was recognized with a Special Commendation by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sponsors and Contributors
Yokozuna Sumo Grand Master
Ozeki Sumo Grand Master
Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts
United Instruments, Inc.
Komusubi Sumo Grand Champion
Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Maegashira Sumo Grand Champion
Center for East Asian Studies KU
Jo and Yoshiko Yamanaka
Juryo Sumo Champion
Kansas City Japanese School
KC Japan Circle Sakura
Bob and Kazuyo Rumbach
Masami and Eunice Willis
Makushita Sumo Champion
Michael and Melinda Burke
Jane Drury and Russ Amos
Ryan and Meghan May
Larry and Cindy Meeker
Atsuki Mori and David Kreiner
Minako and Douglas Oliver
Pradeep and Haruko Shukla
South KC Shotokan Karate Dojo
Roy and Mari True
Patty Woods and Mickey Coalwell
Stephen and Tami Woodsmall
Miyako K. Fraley
Ryan, Kotoko, Luca & Shannon Grass
Patricia A. Knott
Catherine Browder Morris
Kenji and Peggy Oba
Martin and Kyoko Peters
Deepak and Rohini Phadke
Michael and Leslie Sciolaro
Kaye and Walt Thompson
Karen Whitlow and John Neal