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Saugatuck Culture of Japan Fest (3/5-4/27/10)

March 5th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Events

The culture of Japan makes its way to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Join us for our month-long cultural festival featuring events and performances of Japanese traditions. Come enjoy the artistry of the Japanese kimono or the flavors of Japan’s famous fermented rice alcoho–sake. Space is limited for certain events so call 269-857-2399 or visit our web site to purchase tickets and for further information.

Program Schedule

Exhibition | Artfully Adorned: The Japanese Kimono

March 5-April 26 from 9:00AM-5:00PM, also Evening Performances
Bertha Krueger Reid Exhibition Hall, Free

Discover how the exquisite patterns and lush colors on Japanese kimonos are created in this exhibition of Japan’s national dress. Artfully Adorned showcases the motifs and techniques – still done entirely by hand – that have inspired everything from architecture to modern couture. From painting and stenciling to embroidery and brocade, see close-up these remarkable works of fashion that are also breathtaking works of art.

Gallery Talk | Motifs in Kimono design

Thursday, April 1 @ 7:00PM, Free

The Artfully Adorned exhibition features many kimonos from Etta Hesselink’s private collection. Join her as she gives participants a tour of the exhibit and discusses key motifs commonly used in Kimono design.

Workshop for Adults | Aikido class

Tuesday evenings April 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 7:00–8:30PM
$40.00 for 4-Week Session

Whether you’re interested in engaging exercise, safety techniques, or learning about this Japanese martial art form, you won’t want to miss this 4-week class. Dave Mata from the Kyoseikan Dojo Aikido Program is committed to maintaining the highest standards of Aikido instruction and training. He will offer students a traditional Aikido training experience including “empty hand” techniques, defense against armed attackers, and multiple person attacks. Try this dynamic “about it” and “do it” class!

Workshop for Adults | From the Palace to the Farm: Japanese Poetry for the Masses

Monday, April 12 @ 7:00PM, Free

Jeremy Robinson assistant professor of Japanese at Grand Valley State University shares the fascinating story of how the centuries old “shared writing” form, Renga, gave birth to the popular Haiku form. What was initially an elite form of writing was gradually taken over by a more common culture and ultimately won a much broader (indeed global) audience. Learn about the “super heroes” of early Haiku (still revered today) and experience some of Japan’s greatest examples of this simple but sublime literary form.

Public Presentation | Antiques Road Show: Japan

Tuesday, April 13 @ 7:00PM, Free

Get ready for Antiques Roadshow: Japan with your host David Pepper, owner of Okame Japanese Antiques in Windsor, Ontario. Mr. Pepper begins with an overview of the major themes in Japanese art then evaluates your Japanese antiques and collectibles. Will lost treasures come to light? Join us for this educational and entertaining evening. ($4 per item or $10 for 3 items fee for appraisals)

Performance | Notable Pages presentation of “Kamishibai Man”

Thursday, April 15 @ 7:00PM, Free

Presented by children participating in this program from the Saugatuck/Douglas District Library, this performance tells the traditional Japanese tale of the kamishibai man who pedaled his bicycle into town, clapping wooden blocks together to begin his presentation. Like moths to a flame, children gather from all directions, clamoring to buy the candies that the kamishibai man sells and hear his latest tale.

Workshop for Adults | Sake Tasting Workshop

Friday April 16 from 7:00-9:00PM, $40.00

Instructor Jim Warren shares the history of Japan’s famous fermented rice alcohol and discusses how to drink –and evaluate–sake. Participants get to sample a series of sakes and understand how each gets its differing flavors, scents, and textures.

Workshop for Adults | Composing Japanese Poetry: Renga and Haiku

Saturday, April 17 from 1:00-4:00PM, $30.00

Jeremy Robinson assistant professor of Japanese at Grand Valley State University continues his discussion of Japanese poetry with this hands on workshop. Understand how the “linked verse” Renga was composed, including the opening verses – or Haiku. Then work on your own Haiku pieces.

“About It!” Lecture | From Kurosawa to Anime: Stars of Japanese Cinema

Thursday, April 22 @ 7:00PM, Free

Professor Peggy Goetz (Calvin College) presents a fascinating look at iconic Japanese films that not only defined the nation’s cinematic history but also influenced generations of filmmakers around the globe. Prof. Goetz focuses on three major filmmakers, Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, and Akira Kurosawa, and also explores the modern phenomenon of anime (Japanese animation). Prof. Goetz also discusses the current batch of Japanese horror films that are making their mark around the world.

Workshop for Adults | The Ritual of Kimono Dressing

Saturday, April 24 from 10:00AM-12:00PM, $35

Professor Kimiko Gunji reveals the beauty, complexity, and mystery of Japan’s national outfit. Traditionally kimonos are made from a single bolt of fabric called a tan – and the entire bolt is used to make one kimono. The finished kimono has only four main pieces of fabric—two panels covering the body and two panels forming the sleeves. Prof. Gunji demonstrates the artistic ritual involved in putting on and wearing a kimono and discusses the variety of kimonos Japanese men and women traditionally wore throughout their lives.

Workshop for Adults | Tea Ceremony

Saturday, April 24 from 1:00-3:00PM, $40

Prof. Kimiko Gunji shares “the Way of Tea,” which is the ceremonial preparation and presentation of tea. Whether you are a tea lover, interested in Zen Buddhism (which strongly influenced the tea ceremony), or intrigued by Japanese rituals, don’t miss this opportunity to watch a tea ceremony unfold and participate in the artful performance.

Public Performance | Nagata Shachu Japanese Drumming Ensemble

Saturday, April 24 @ 8:00PM, $35 Adults / $10 Students

Based in Toronto, Canada, the group has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum (taiko) since its formation in 1998. While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, the group’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Esther Vandecar

    I am inquiring about the plan for a Japanese Cultural Festival for 2012. I have just moved here from Phoenix, AZ where I introduced the art of taiko to many in my Fushicho Daiko taiko dojo, and on my own taiko stage at the Award Winning Phoenix Matsuri. I teach taiko at Kalamazoo College, WMU and will soon have an elementary school group, and a community group in Grand Rapids. I would love to perform at a future festival, or event, teach a workshop, or participate in some way to sharing the culture of Japan that I learned so much from in my 8 years there. Looking forward to hearing from you. I’d love to know how successful your 2010 festival was and if you plan to repeat it. Esther Vandecar, Director of MI Hiryu Daiko and retired Director of Fushicho Daiko

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