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 10/7/23 and get $5 off each ticket.
Use the code KABUKI at checkout.
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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 2023 GKCJF will be the seventeenth festival held on the campus of Johnson County Community College.
CONSUL-GENERAL OF JAPAN IN CHICAGO
Consul General Jun Yanagi is currently the Consul-General of Japan in Chicago. He joined the Chicago Consulate in August of this year. Prior to joining the Chicago Consulate, he was the Deputy Director, Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office in Tokyo.
Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988, he has held numerous positions, including: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, (MOFA) North East Asia Division; First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Nigeria; South East Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Deputy Director, APEC Division, MOFA; Principal Deputy Director, Analysis Division, IAB, MOFA; Principal Deputy Director, Public Diplomacy Division, MOFA; First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Australia; Counselor, Embassy of Japan in Russia; Counselor, Embassy of Japan in Canada; Director, International Science Cooperation Division, MOFA; Director, Western Europe Division, MOFA; Professor, Tohoku University; Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Vietnam; Minister, Permanent Mission of Japan in Vienna.
Consul General Yanagi has a B.A. from Tokyo University (Faculty of Law) and a BA and MA from Oxford University, Worcester College (Philosophy, Politics and Economics).
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
Consulate General of Japan at Chicago
Marshall V. Miller, Miller & Company, P.C.
Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts
Komusubi Sumo Grand Champion
Asian American Chamber of Commerce
Francis and Charlene Lemery
Maegashira Sumo Grand Champion
Center for East Asian Studies KU
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Kawasaki Motors Mfg. Co.
Jo and Yoshiko Yamanaka
Juryo Sumo Champion
Jim and Lydia Kanki
Kansas City Japanese School
KC Japan Circle Sakura
Denny and Patti Kurogi
Gabriel and Natsumi Rebeck
Bob and Kazuyo Rumbach
Masami and Eunice Willis
Makushita Sumo Champion
David Albrecht and Laura O’Brien
Pegeen and John Blank
Jane Drury and Russ Amos
David and Hiromi Lessmann
Ryan and Meghan May
Atsuki Mori and David Kreiner
Catherine Browder Morris
Minako and Douglas Oliver
Martin and Kyoko Peters
Pradeep and Haruko Shukla
South KC Shotokan Karate Dojo
Roy and Maki True
Doug and Beth Viehland
Patty Woods and Mickey Coalwell
Stephen and Tami Woodsmall
Jo Anne Gibson-Lucas and Gary Lucas
Mary Head and Donald Watkins
Patricia A. Knott
Kenji and Peggy Oba
Byron and Kate Pendleton
Deepak and Rohini Phadke
Michael and Leslie Sciolaro
Chris Steineger and Shari Wilson
Walter and Kaye Thompson
Chris and Mayumi Wagner
Karen Whitlow and John Neal