Exhibits & Displays

Japanese Torii Gate

Torii Gate Entryway to the Festival

All day • Midwest Trust Center First Floor Lobby

The large Torii Gate that leads all visitors into the GKC Japan Festival is a depiction/large model of one of the most famous Torii Gates in all of Japan at the Itsukushima Shrine near Hiroshima. The Torii gate at the Festival is approximately 14 feet tall and the top crossbar is about 16 feet long.

Ikebana Display

Ikebana Display

By The Sogetsu School

All day • Midwest Trust Center Lobby and Student Center Lobby

Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement. Take time to enjoy the Ikebana displays in the lobbies of the Midwest Trust Center, and the Student Center, provided by members of the Sogetsu School.

Ikebana Exhibit

Ikebana Exhibit

By The Sogetsu School of Ikebana

All day • Regnier Center East Lobby

Learn about the Japanese art of flower arranging (Ikebana) from masters of the Sogetsu School and their students. This exhibit of the beautiful art of Ikebana will give everyone an opportunity to see both traditional and contemporary styles of this distinctively Japanese art form. Members and students of the Sogetsu School will be on hand at the exhibit to answer questions and explain the techniques used so that attendees can better appreciate this increasingly popular style of flower arranging.


Bonsai and Suiseki Display

By The Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City

All day • SC 103 (Student Center)

The Bonsai Society of Greater Kansas City has been in existence since 1968 and was formed to promote the interest and appreciation of the art of bonsai through education, training, information and exhibitions.

We are privileged to have the Society provide an exhibition of a wide variety of bonsai styles and plant materials for our Festival again this year. Society members will be at the exhibit to answer questions and demonstrate how plants are pruned, shaped, trained and wired.

You will also enjoy their Suiseki displays. Suiseki (sui = water, seki = stone) is the study and enjoyment of naturally formed stones as objects of beauty.

Exhibit Room

Japanese Hina Doll Display

Japanese Hina Doll Display

All day • MTC 107

Japanese traditional dolls are known by the name Ningyo in Japan, which literally means human shape. There are various types of Japanese dolls, one traditional type is for festival celebrations such as Hinamatsuri, the doll festival, or Kodomo no Hi, Children’s Day.

A traditional Hinamatsuri doll set is on display at the festival this year.

Boys Day Doll

Children’s Day (Boy’s Warrior) Doll

All day • MTC 107

May 5 of each year is a National Holiday that celebrates Children’s Day in Japan. Originally the day was celebrated as “Boy’s Day” to correspond to the Doll Festival for Girls (where families display the Hina Dolls that is held on March 3.

However, the symbols of courage and strength mainly honor boys on May 5. It is the custom for families with male children to fly Koinobori (large fish flags) outside of the home. They represent a symbol of success. Families also eat chimaki and kashiwamochi (different types of special rice cakes) and display warrior dolls (“musha ningyo”) in the home during this celebration.

A large Koinobori more than 30 feet in length is displayed outside the entrance to the Student Center.

Enjoy the beautiful “musha ningyo” warrior doll in a samurai costume. Once again, it is rare to see such an exquisite example of one of these dolls on display.

Kimono Display

Kimono and Obi Display

All day • MTC 107

The word Kimono simply means “things to wear” and is the traditional clothing of Japan. It is a long robe with wide sleeves worn as an outer garment. A sash, called an Obi, complements the kimono. The Obi is worn around the mid-section of the body.

Today, there are many different types and styles of Kimono worn by men, women and children. The color, cut, fabric and decorations of a Kimono may vary according to sex, age and marital status of the wearer, the season of the year and the occasion for which the Kimono is worn.

Kimonos are made of silk and are usually very expensive. Today they are worn at formal or traditional occasions such as weddings and tea ceremonies. To put on a Kimono takes much practice and time. Tying the belt or Obi alone is so difficult that it may require assistance from a friend.

Samurai Armor Display

Traditional Samurai Armor Display

All day • MTC 107

The Samurai armor on display in our exhibit area is a replica of traditional Samurai armor worn many centuries ago in Japan. The manufacturer of the armor, Marutake Sangyo, is Japan’s, and the worlds’, premier producer of fine Samurai Yoroi Armor. Located in Satsumasendai in Japan’s southwestern Kagoshima prefecture, the firm’s reputation for creating products of unparalleled quality has given them more than a 90-percent share of the Japanese armor market.

From television dramas, such as Yoshitsune, to feature films, including Akira Kurosawa’s classics, Kagemusha, and Ran, Marutake Sangyo has shared the spirit of the Samurai with the world. Having produced thousands of suits of armor, their clientele extends from the entertainment industry to temples, museums and even the Queen of England.