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Japan Summer Festival Planned for Saturday in West Hartford

Image from Japan Summer Festival 2018. Courtesy photo

A one-day celebration of Japanese culture in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square will include music, dance, food, a tea ceremony, and more.

Image from Japan Summer Festival 2018. Courtesy photo

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The sixth annual Japan Summer Festival is a free, one-day celebration of Japanese culture that will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at Webster Walk in Blue Back Square, from noon-5:30 p.m. (The rain date is Sunday, June 16, 2019.)

The main event is at 4:30 p.m., and will feature the powerful drumming performance by Mountain River Taiko of Massachusetts. Shishimai, traditional lion dancing, will open the festival at noon.

Outside at Webster Walk in Blue Back Square, the Japan Summer Festival will have a Obon Dance performance, Karate and Kendo demonstrations, a Paprika Dance, and Balloon Storytelling. Take part in a Yukata experience where you can try on a traditional Japanese summer robe.

The Cosplay Contest is at 3 p.m. Sign up by 2 p.m. to participate. Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime. For a $5 entry fee, contestants will show off their hand-made costumes. Cash prizes will be given for craftsmanship, originality and best of show. After the promenade of contestants.

Inside at Barnes & Noble, 60 Isham Road, there will be a traditional tea ceremony, an origami workshop, Sumi-e ink demonstration and crafts for kids. These events take place from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Japanese tea ceremonies are a spiritual ritual to bring balance to a hectic daily life. Each aspect of the ceremony is symbolic. The demonstration is free.

Sumi-e is the Japanese word for Black Ink Painting. Sumi-e is an East Asian painting and writing technique developed together in ancient China that places emphasis on the beauty of each individual stroke of the brush.

A free origami workshop will be held at Barnes & Noble from noon to 4 p.m. Learn how to create different items by folding colorful, printed paper.

Japanese food will be available for sale by Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli and Sonobana Restaurant. Free cotton candy and popcorn will be available all day!

Ongoing activities and information tables include the Japan Society of Greater Hartford, IACE Travel of Boston, Dr. Hashimoto’s Sotaiho and Kooma Massage Therapy.

For more information, contact Masamichi Hongoh of the Japan Society of Greater Hartford at 860-796-1637 or Renee McCue, public relations specialist, Town of West Hartford, 860-561-7521.

Sponsors of this event include Miyoshi American, O gawa shou, Kooma Massage Therapy, IACE Travel, Shuyu, Inc., Maruichi Japanese Food & Deli, Barnum Financial Group, and Konica Minolta.

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