2022 Festival Schedule

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All Day

Kansas City Japanese Choir Himawari

Regnier Food Court

Himawari is a local choral group in which members enjoy experiencing Japanese culture and tradition through singing Japanese songs. They will perform at various times throughout the day.

Kimono and Obi Display

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.

Japanese Hina Doll Display

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 Hinanatsuri, the doll festival, or Kodomo no Hi, Children’s Day.

Traditional Samurai Armor Display

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.

Ikebana Display

MTC First Floor Lobby

Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement. Take time to enjoy the Ikebana display in the lobby of the Midwest Trust Center provided by members of the Sogetsu School.

Ikebana Exhibit

Regnier Center Atrium

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.

Bonsai and Suiseki Display

MTC Second Floor Lobby

The Bonsai Society will 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.

Torii Gate Entryway to the Festival

MTC 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.

Anime and Manga Vendors

MTC Third Floor

Enjoy Anime and Manga with the vendors displaying your favorite Anime and Manga products. Follow the signs to experience Anime at its finest.

Japanese Bazaar Shopping Extravaganza

OCB 100

You can shop for unique Japanese crafts, Kimono, yukata, happi coats, kokeshi dolls, games, books, Japanese serving ware, ceramics (sake sets and tea sets) and much more.

Japanese Cultural Village

MTC 128

Featured again at this year’s Festival is the Japanese Cultural Village operated by the Kansas City Japanese School. Young and old attendees will be entertained with many opportunities to experience the “real” Japan here in Kansas City.

Japanese Handmade Craft Bazaar

MTC 128

Enjoy shopping at the “Village” Bazaar for beautiful Japanese handicraft items, Japanese toys, books, and more.

Video Gaming

MTC 344

Visit the free to play console gaming area.

Sojutsu Workshop

Outside Plaza

Sōjutsu (槍術), meaning “art of the spear”, is the Japanese martial art of fighting with a Japanese spear (槍, yari).

Aikido Workshop

Outside Plaza

Like Karate, techniques are practiced to handle attacks of both an armed or unarmed nature. The techniques in Aikido contain mostly blocks, locks and takedowns by the proper use of grappling techniques that are applied by trying to harmoniously get in tune with the attacker’s efforts.

The Games of Go and Shogi

MTC 216

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.”

Food Vendors

Regnier Food Court

Feast on authentic Japanese foods including bento boxes and other food items offered by local restaurants and JCCC Dining Services. Café Tempo in the Regnier Center will also be open.

Three Trails Taiko

Yardley Hall

Three Trails Taiko is a community group, currently consisting of approximately twelve volunteers, with the goal of sharing the tradition, culture and art of Kumi Daiko and Japan with the surrounding community.

Japan Foundation’s Marugoto Course Books

MTC 338

Come discover the new language levels of the Japan Foundation Standards and how to access the new coursework program for self-study and formal class learners.

Tea Ceremony Demonstration – Omote Senke

Polsky Theatre

Experience a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, performed by Japanese Tea Master Yoko Hiraoka, whose training started in Kyoto as a young child. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the history and practice of the Tea Ceremony.

Zuihitsu, Haibun, and New Possibilities of Genre

MTC 124

This talk explores Japanese styles of writing, including Zuihitsu, a form of writing in which the writer “follows the brush” and writes associatively, and Haibun, a form of travel writing that includes a short prose piece describing an object, scene or special moment coupled with a haiku poem.

Recurring Event The Samurai Sword

The Samurai Sword

Hudson Auditorium

Earle Brigance will be with us again this year, giving two lectures on the Samurai Sword and the Samurai Sword’s influence on the history of Japan. Mr. Brigance will display Samurai Swords from his personal collection.

Recurring Event Japanese Garden Design

Japanese Garden Design

MTC 122

This presentation will explore the Japanese garden making process, maintenance issues and ideas for creating a Japanese garden by Koji Morimoto. His 20 plus years of design knowledge and experience will help you to have a dream garden of your own.

One Heaven, One Family, One Mother Earth: Engaging in a Three-Dimensional Spiritual Dialogue Through Yōkō Farming

MTC 126A

This presentation will introduce you to an amazing way to deeply connect with what it means to be human living in a spiritually vibrant natural world in this critical time in the 21st century. If you are a young person who is deeply concerned about the future, or if you simply want to find a way to reconnect with nature and elevate your own consciousness in the process, please join us for this lively presentation that is tremendously important for today’s world.

Kendo Workshop

Outside Plaza

Kendo practitioners train using a bamboo sword called a shinai. They wear a helmet and body armor called bogu that allows for full-contact sparring with low risk of injury and gives the practitioner the ability to dynamically adjust to real speed attacks to a limited number of targets in a competitive environment.

Kanji Made Easy

MTC 338

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.

Tessenjutsu – Martial Arts Fan Workshop

Outside Plaza

Tessenjutsu (鉄扇術), “iron fan technique” is the martial art of the Japanese war fan (tessen). It is based on the use of the solid iron fan or the folding iron fan, which usually had eight or ten wood or iron ribs.

Kenjutsu Workshop

Outside Plaza

Kenjutsu, which originated with the samurai class of feudal Japan, means “the method, technique or the art of the sword.” This is opposed to kendo, which means “the way of the sword”.

Denver Taiko Workshop

Yardley Hall

At this workshop, try your hand at traditional Japanese drums and other instruments. Denver Taiko combines both modern and ancient rhythms into a style and sound which is uniquely their own.

Tatsumaki Yosakoi, Japanese Yosakoi Dance Group Performance

Polsky Theatre

Yosakoi is a unique style of dance that is highly energetic, combining traditional Japanese dance movements with modern music. Tatsumaki Yosakoi, Japanese Yosakoi Dance Club, is from Kansas State University.

Recurring Event The Samurai Sword

The Samurai Sword

Hudson Auditorium

Earle Brigance will be with us again this year, giving two lectures on the Samurai Sword and the Samurai Sword’s influence on the history of Japan. Mr. Brigance will display Samurai Swords from his personal collection.

Legacy of the Samurai

Recital Hall

J.M. “TORA” LAWSON Mr. Lawson’s presentation will discuss the evolution of Samurai culture and how it has survived into the modern era. He will discuss the samurai and how their […]

Miniature Trees: An Introduction to the Ancient Art of Bonsai

MTC 122

This presentation will provide a general overview of the many aspects in practicing the art of Bonsai, including Chinese and Japanese origins, philosophy, and description of design styles, tools, general horticulture procedures, pot selection and the design process.

Beginners Origami Workshop

MTC 212

Fold and build the simple – bit impressive – Sonobe cube. No complicated squash, rabbit ear, or petal folds are involved! This is for rank beginners whose origami skills don’t extend much past folding a receipt in half or dog-earing a page in a book.

Tatsumaki Yosakoi, Japanese Yosakoi Dance Group Workshop

Polsky Theatre

This workshop teaches Yosakoi, a unique style of dance that is highly energetic, combining traditional Japanese dance movements with modern music. Tatsumaki Yosakoi, Japanese Yosakoi Dance Club, is from Kansas State University.

Japanese Commercials – A Historical Look

MTC 126B

Come learn what makes Japanese TV commercials so weird, creepy, sentimental, cute, and different from those in the US. We watch and discuss ads from approximately from 70 years of commercial history (1953 to 2022) that have changed Japanese popular culture and established marketing trends.

SASUKE: The Genesis of Ninja Warrior

MTC 338

In this lecture, Joshua Murphy will explain the history of one of the most successful Japanese game show franchises. The history of how a segment on a sports competition show became the worldwide phenomenon of Ninja Warrior.

A Look at Japanese Game Shows on American Television

MTC 338

In this presentation, Joshua Murphy will look at Japanese Game and Variety Shows and their effect on the American television landscape. Takeshi’s Castle, Ninja Warrior, Ultra Quiz, Shark Tank and America’s Funniest Home videos are some of the shows that will be discussed and seen in this panel.

Children’s Mikoshi Parade

MTC First Floor Lobby

Participating in the parade, students from the Saturday Kansas City Japanese School will carry a traditional-style festival float, accompanied by taiko performers.

Kimono Demonstration

Recital Hall

Learn from Mrs. Stroder and Ms. Fraley all about traditional Japanese Kimono and Yukata. Also, you will be able to see them demonstrate what is involved in putting on a Kimono or Yukata. They will show a wedding kimono, a two pieces casual kimono and a men’s kimono.

Zen Meditation Workshop

MTC 122

In this workshop we will explore the basics of Zen meditation and how to practice it. As we try out Zen practice, we will discuss several concepts that help to illustrate how Zen is understood in Japan, including impermanence, “mind-to-mind transmission,” and imperfect beauty.

The Art of True Light: Hope for a Troubled Age

The Art of True Light is a spiritual energy practice that seeks to purify the upstream of the river, rather than the middle or downstream. With more than one million people in over a hundred countries now practicing this “super-hero spiritual art” by giving energy with one’s hand, there is indeed “Hope for a troubled age,” manifesting just when difficulties are increasing for many.

Kansas City Kendo Club – Kendo

Polsky Theatre

The art of Kendo derives from sword skills developed by the samurai of the 12th century called Kenjutsu. During the 14th to 16th centuries, accomplished swordsmen opened schools to teach the art of the sword.

Introduction to Reading Japanese

MTC 338

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.

Aikijuku Dojo – Aikido

Polsky Theatre

Like Karate, techniques are practiced to handle attacks of both an armed or unarmed nature. The techniques in Aikido contain mostly blocks, locks and takedowns by the proper use of grappling techniques that are applied by trying to harmoniously get in tune with the attacker’s efforts.

Tessenjutsu – Martial Arts Fan

Polsky Theatre

Tessenjutsu (鉄扇術), “iron fan technique” is the martial art of the Japanese war fan (tessen). It is based on the use of the solid iron fan or the folding iron fan, which usually had eight or ten wood or iron ribs.

150 Years of Japanese Trains

MTC 126A

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first Japanese railroad, we will discuss how trains have changed Japanese society and culture. Trains offer ways to understand Japan’s urban development and how people have made themselves at home in cities.

Understanding the Different Types of Manga

Hudson Auditorium

Newcomers to manga are often surprised to learn that there are many different genres of manga, each with its own typical reader and subject matter. This presentation would give a brief overview of each major genre while offering recommendations of famous works in the genre.

Voices of Japanese “War Brides” in Postwar Kansas

Recital Hall

This talk will share the voices of Japanese women who triumphed amidst great struggle to find community, connection, and cultural identity in the place they viewed as the last destination of their lives— the Kansas prairie.

Recurring Event Japanese Garden Design

Japanese Garden Design

MTC 122

This presentation will explore the Japanese garden making process, maintenance issues and ideas for creating a Japanese garden by Koji Morimoto. His 20 plus years of design knowledge and experience will help you to have a dream garden of your own.

Leveling Up! Intermediate Origami

MTC 212

Have you ever wanted to make an origami dragon before? Well, today is the day! In this intermediate origami workshop, you will be learning how to fold a simple dragon and be introduced to more complicated folds such as rabbit ear, petal, and sink folds.

Aikido Demonstration

Polsky Theatre

Like Karate, techniques are practiced to handle attacks of both an armed or unarmed nature. The techniques in Aikido contain mostly blocks, locks and takedowns by the proper use of grappling techniques that are applied by trying to harmoniously get in tune with the attacker’s efforts.

Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai

Polsky Theatre

Training in the Japan Karate-Do Ryobu-Kai (JKR) is conducted in the traditional Japanese method, stressing discipline, consistent attendance, etiquette, and hard work. Modern training in Shindo Jinen Ryu karate-do incorporates elements of karate, aikido, jujitsu, and kendo in the formal curriculum, with an emphasis on philosophy and education.

Tosa No Shugyo Dojo – Soˉjutsu

Polsky Theatre

Sōjutsu (槍術), meaning “art of the spear”, is the Japanese martial art of fighting with a Japanese spear (槍, yari).

Cosplay Fashion Show and Contest

Polsky Theatre

Come to Polsky Theatre and enjoy a Cosplay Fashion Show and Contest. Prizes will be awarded to the top three winners. You must preregister to participate. There will be a judged cosplay contest in Polsky Theatre at 6:00 p.m.