Iwakuni festival of traditional arts returns Dec. 1

Iwakuni festival of traditional arts returns Dec. 1

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

In Japan, many consider autumn the best season to appreciate the arts. The nice weather makes visiting a museum or music hall extra enjoyable.

For those around MCAS Iwakuni, the Sora Culture Festival on Dec. 1 will bring the opportunity to wrap up the fall season with a fun event.

The festival will feature popular traditional Japanese performing arts, such as dancing, “konuka Odori” bon dancing, taiko drum and koto (Japanese harp) performances, along with shuuji (calligraphy) and Kendama (traditional ball and stick toy).

This year’s theme “Four Seasons,” will include some of MCAS Iwakuni’s very own on the koto harp and taiko drums. A choir made up of both Japanese and American children are also scheduled to perform.

Stage performances are scheduled to being at 3:30 p.m. but prior to that from 2 p.m., attendees can try out some of the traditional games and wooden toys at the event’s challenge booths inside the Simphonia Iwakuni concert hall in Iwakuni City.

The program will offer narration in Japanese and English, so all are encouraged to attend.

Ayumi Yonemoto, president of Sora Culture Festival Executive Committee worked for MCAS Iwakuni for 15 years, and while working on base, she noticed that, in general, both Americans and Japanese had a hard time explaining their regional traditions, arts and culture.

“I think this is because the opportunity to see or experience our traditional arts is getting rarer and rarer these days,” Yonemoto said.

The experience drove her to organize a group and host the cultural festival featuring traditional Japanese arts.

“This is a great chance for both Japanese and Americans to get a glimpse of authentic traditional Japanese arts,” Yonemoto said.
Tickets for this great fall event are on sale now. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the creativity and performances of the local community.

Sora Culture Festival “Four Seasons”

Hours: Dec. 1, from 2 – 5 p.m.
Location: Simphonia Iwakuni (1-1-1 Mikasa Town, Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Pref., 10-minute walk from JR Iwakuni Station)
Tickets: 900 yen (Oct. 25 – Nov. 30), 999 yen (Dec. 1)
Email: havefun@sora.jpn.com
Tel: 0827-28-5558

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