The Japanese Fall Festival is proceeding as scheduled on Saturday, September 8.
Minbuza: Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York
The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York was founded in 1992 by Momo Suzuki to research, promote, and keep alive interest in traditional folk dances of Japan. The Institute consists of two groups which perform, teach, and preserve authentic dances performed by ordinary working people of Japan. Their professional Minbuza (folk dance) group introduces the culture, history, and spirit of Japan through authentic music, colorful costumes and props, and highlights of interesting Japanese customs.
Karin Amano was born near Mount Fuji in Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture. She began entertaining at the age of 3 and is highly trained in karate and Japanese traditional dancing, acting, and singing. She performs in various capacities all around the world at locations including Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney World, Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, and more. In her performances, Karin uses stylized movements and plays multiple roles simultaneously to convey Japanese folk tales, children’s stories, or mythology.
Taiki Hoshino is a 20-year-old delegate visiting Springfield from our sister city of Isesaki, Japan. He is highly trained in judo, Japanese martial arts. Taiki is pleased to travel so far to demonstrate the art and his skills for Springfield audiences.
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 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 semi-retired mechanical engineer with years of teaching experience and highly notable works in the field of fracture mechanics. He was born 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 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 Creek Rocks
The Creek Rocks is a performing duo made up of Mark Bilyeu and Cindy Woolf. Their signature is a deep Ozark sound. They traveled to our sister city of Isesaki, Japan last month 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 2019 to perform in Isesaki’s Summer Festival.