Zoomadanke of Tokyo, Japan, is an internationally-acclaimed duo that blends their mastery of kendama (a traditional Japanese cup and ball toy) with dance and music to create a pioneering style of performance.
Yasu Ishida is a magician and storyteller from Ube, Japan. Ishida combines traditional Japanese theatre, music, origami, magic, and storytelling to bring the enchanting land of Japan to his audiences.
Seiran Chiba is a world-renowned shodo (Japanese calligraphy) artist from Fukushima, Japan.
St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
St. Louis Osuwa Taiko was founded in 1986 by Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi of Suwa, Japan, St. Louis’ sister city. The group studies, develops, promotes, performs, and teaches taiko (the art of Japanese ensemble drumming) in order to preserve and contribute to the art while fostering an understanding between Japanese and American cultures.
Tracy’s Kenpo Karate
Tracy’s Kenpo Karate is Springfield’s original, authentic, and traditional kenpo (Japanese martial arts) studio. Chief Instructor, Anthony Verburgt, is a ninth-degree black belt and a direct student of Great Grandmaster Al Tracy.
Dr. Hiroshi Tada
Dr. Hiroshi Tada is a retired mechanical engineer with years of teaching experience and highly notable works in the field of fracture mechanics. He grew up in Kyushu, Japan where he first became interested in koma-mawashi (the Japanese art of top spinning). Now an expert in the art, Dr. Tada masterfully spins tops combining elements of yo-yo, juggling, magic, and humor.
Kizuna Japan America Friendship Group
Kizuna Japan America Friendship Group is local to Springfield and works to create bonds between Japanese and American culture. Kizuna means “bonds” in Japanese. The group facilitates Japanese culture workshops on tea ceremonies, traditional dances, activities, exercises, kids’ games, and more.
Springfield Cosplay was formed during the 2015 Japanese Fall Festival and works to connect cosplayers of all ages and skill levels with one another. Cosplay stands for “costume role play,” an art that originated in Japan. Visit their booth to sign up for the Cosplay Showcase or Cosplay Contest.
KiRa-KiRa Springfield is a local cosplay (costume role play) group which performs cover dance routines, particularly dance routines from the popular Japanese series, Love Live!
Uke 66 is a performing and teaching duo made up of Dr. Rick and Karen Maxson. They support the growing ukulele community in the Midwest particularly through teaching grown-ups how to play. They traveled to our sister city of Isesaki, Japan in 2017 to perform in Isesaki’s Summer Festival.
The Shandies is a performing duo made up of Shannon Stine and Natalie Wlodarczyk. They play an eclectic mix of folk, pop, country, and rock with an Ozarks twist. They will travel to our sister city of Isesaki, Japan in August of 2019 to perform in Isesaki’s Summer Festival.