PLEASE NOTE: This event has already occurred.
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Japan House will celebrate the end of summer with a day of Asian-inspired performances, food and art inside and around Japan House and the Arboretum at the University of Illinois.
Japan House is a cultural establishment made up of three authentic Japanese tea rooms and a teaching space which are surrounded by Japanese gardens. The environment of Japanese aesthetics both inside and out makes for an immersive experience. By taking part in a tea ceremony, class, workshop or performance, a visitor will not only experience Japanese culture but will find means of absorbing the Japanese influence and aesthetics into their own lives.
This year, the festival will be held on a new day of the week and earlier than the past few years. The sixth annual Matsuri Festival will be held Saturday, August 29 from 1pm to 9pm. Matsuri will include a variety of free performances, including Ho Etsu Taiko drum ensemble; martial arts demonstrations; “The Candyman,” Japanese street performer who makes candy sculptures (amezaiku) and “wows” audiences with magic; Japanese traditional festival dancing; and a variety of other performances including Japanese tsugaru-jamisen artist, Michiyoshi Sato. The night will conclude with fireworks at 9pm.
At this family-friendly event, there will be something for everyone. Artists and craftspeople will have items for sale, as well as interactive activities, such as ikebana (flower arranging), origami (paper folding), yukata and cosplay dressing, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and tours of the Arboretum by Master Gardeners will be happening until 6pm. A kid’s area featuring the amazing artistry of Joyful Bubbles and a variety of games will be the highlight for the younger guests.
Local restaurants who rarely do off-site events, will bring delicious and affordable Asian-inspired dishes and drinks to the crowd. Matsuri will also include and area for sake and beer called Kampai Island.
A multicultural event, Matsuri features elements from other Asian countries such as India with food, performances and henna artists from the community. Guests are encouraged to wear traditional clothing such as Japanese yukata, Indian sari or Korean hanbok, as well as your favorite cosplay attire for the day. Matsuri t-shirts will be available for purchase from the Japan House Interns for anyone who wants to be festive without the fuss.