Japanese Festival

Published on September 5th, 2013 | by ssca


Japanese Fall Festival 2013 updates!

Featured performers:

Samurai Sword Soul

photo by Brian Kronts

Samurai Sword Soul (SSS) was founded by Yoshi Amao and Yoshihisa Kuwayama in 2003. Since then, Samurai Sword Soul’s numerous performances, an engaging mix of comedy routines, humanistic- theme drama, and thrilling sword fights have been attracting a wide range of audiences in New York. Their sword technique is based on Waki Ryu Tate, which was created by Keihei Wakisaka, Seido Karate spirit and Kendo technique. Now imbuing traditional Japanese sword fighting arts with a more contemporary essence and their own artistry, they have established unique “Samurai Sword Soul Style.”

St. Louis Osuwa Taiko

The original Osuwa Taiko was formed by Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi in Suwa, Japan, In 1986, Oguchi visited St. Louis. with a generous donation of hand made drums to the City, and helped form the first Osuwa Taiko in St. Louis. St. Louis Osuwa Taiko was restarted at Washington University in September of 1996. Since then, the group has grown and invited to perform at numerous events and occasions mostly in the mid-western region of the United States. We hope to broaden the awareness of this rich Japanese tradition and culture to the general public.

Storyteller Kuniko Yamamoto

She enchants audiences of every age with dramatic storytelling using myths and fables from ancient and modern Japan. Kuniko Yamamoto uses traditional Japanese music, handcrafted masks, stylized movement and a touch of magic to create an artistic balance of illusion and reality. Every program encourages audience interaction and participation, with each narrative carefully selected for cultural and moral perspectives. Trained in dance and traditional arts in her native Osaka, Kuniko has lived in Florida since 1992.

Other featured performers

  • Hiroshi Tada: Koma mawashi – Top Spinner
  • Kizuna: Japan America Friendship Group
  • Plaid Dragon – Local music group traveling to Japan 2014
  • SRO Lyric Theatre Tracy’s Kenpo Karate Studio

And many more activities

The festival also includes daily tea ceremonies in the lakeside teahouse, a kimono fashion show, festival dancing, martial arts demonstrations, local performers, authentic Japanese food and regional artisans. Kids will enjoy hands-on activities with the Kickapoo High School Japanese Club, including chopsticks instruction, face painting and origami.

A tent-top market offers Japanese souvenirs and apparel, with all proceeds benefiting Springfield Sister Cities Association and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.

Times and Date

The Springfield Sister Cities Association, with support from the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, hosts the 18th Annual Japanese Fall Festival Friday, Sept. 6, through Sunday, Sept. 8, in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield. For the full schedule, click here.

The festival kicks off Friday evening with opening ceremonies at 6:15 p.m. Hundreds of Springfield area elementary school students act as ambassadors and perform a festival dance at the main stage. The three-day festival runs from 5:30 – 10 p.m. Friday night; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $7/adult; $3/ kids 3-12; toddlers age 2 and younger are free. Weekend passes may be purchased at the gate for $10/adult; $5/kids.

Outreach to schools

Additionally, festival performers will visit several Springfield elementary schools Friday, Sept. 6, including:

Samurai Sword Soul:
Friday  — 9 a.m. at Field Elementary, 10:30 a.m. at Rountree Elementary

Kuniko the Storyteller:
Friday  — 10:30 a.m. at Watkins Elementary, 1 p.m. at Truman Elementary

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About the Author

Springfield Sister Cities Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people of the City of Springfield and people of similar cities in foreign nations acquire a consciousness of each other and to understand one another as individuals, as members of their community, and as part of our global community.

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  2. Emily Rosenthal says:

    I am interested in information on this years Japanese Fall Festival 9/5-7. Your web page has info on 2013. Do you have a brochure on this festival? If so, would you either email me or send to my home. I will give you my home address if you will send me an email requesting it. I am assuming the $10 admission from last year is the same this year. Also, I understand that Fri 9/5 is set up day – would everything be ready by 9 or 10 am or would it be best to come on Sat 9/6. And are the hours on Sat/Sun 9 am – 10 pm?
    Thank you for your help.

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  • Upcoming events

    September 8–10, 2017
    Annual Japanese Fall Festival

    in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden
    at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park
    2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, MO

    Friday, September 8th
    Gates Open 5:00 p.m.
    $10 Adult / $3 children 12 yrs. & under
    • Uke 66
    • Mr. Hiroshi Tada performance “top spinning.”
    • Kizuna – Springfield’s Japan America Friendship
    Group will be performing traditional festival dance
    on stage. Everyone is invited to participate!
    • 6:00 Opening Ceremony at the stage
    • 6:15 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    • 6:30 Seiran Chiba – large scale calligraphy
    • 6:45 Karin Amano – Japanese story teller
    • 7:10 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    Candlelight walk begins at dusk

    Saturday, September 9th
    Gates open 11:00 a.m.
    $15 Adult / $3 children 12 yrs. & under
    • Mr. Hiroshi Tada performance “top-spinning.”
    • 11:15 Springfield Cosplay
    • 11:45 Kimono show
    • 12:00 Uke 66
    • 1:00 Seiran Chiba – large scale calligraphy
    • 1:30 Karin Amano – Japanese Story Teller
    • 2:00 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    (Children’s workshop follows the performance)
    • 3:15 Tracy’s Karate
    • 4:30 Seiran Chiba- large scale calligraphy
    • 5:00 Kizuna – Japanese folk dance
    • 5:30 St. Louise Osuwa Taiko
    • 6:30 Karin Amano
    • 7:00 Shoji Tabuchi Live!
    Candlelight walk begins at dusk

    Sunday, September 10th
    Gates open 11:00 a.m.
    $10 Adult / $3 children 12 yrs. & under
    • Mr. Hiroshi Tada performance “top-spinning.”
    • 1:00 Uke 66
    • 1:30 Karin Amano – Japanese Story Teller
    • 2:00 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    • 3:00 Seiran Chiba – large scale calligraphy
    • 3:30 Tracy’s Karate
    • 4:15 Kizuna – Japanese folk dance
    • 4:45 Cosplay parade on stage
    Festival ends on Sunday at 6 p.m

    Taste of Tlaquepaque
    Friday, October 13th
    Celebrate with Springfield Sister Cities and our friends from Tlaquepaque at Oasis Convention Center
    6:00—7:00 p.m. Cocktails
    7:00 p.m. Dinner and Music by Enrique, Manuel, Paco, Fernando and German!
    Individual Tickets $150
    Table of 8 = $1000 (Sponsorships available)
    call 417-864-1341
    or email cjobe@springfieldmo.gov

    October 22, 2017
    Americana Concert Series at the Peace Through People Pavilion. Details to be announced soon.

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