The 2020 Performers and schedule will be finalized soon. Below are the 2019 performers for reference.
Kyo Rei Taiko Kai, Japanese Drum Club
Established after the first Arizona Matsuri, the Kyo Rei Taiko Kai teaches taiko drumming.
Arizona Ondo Kai Japanese Folk Dancing
Ondo Folk Dances, are usually associated Obon or local festivals held throughout the year that honor family and ancestors. Often accompanied by music with a 2/2 rythym, these dances are meant for group participation.
presenting Gassho Bu, the Children's Choir
Arizona Gakuen School offers K-9 grade instruction in Japanese to native level speakers of Japanese. The curriculum teaches Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. There is a kindergarten program open to any age appropriate child and a Japanese as a second language program for children. Among the school’s extra curricular activities is the Children’s Choir, under the direction of Yuko Elliot Sensei.
presenting Soran Bushi, a traditional Japanese Fisherman's Dance
Soran Bushi are cadence songs associated with the fishermen of Hokkaidou, the northern island of Japan. During the dance, watch for "the sailors" to haul-in their day's catch and gather their nets together. Like military marching rhymes, these songs are meant to help a group of people work together in rhythm.
Ken Koshio & Kenzoo Presenting Taiko 'n Roll
Ken Koshio and friends will present a collaborative and multi-cultural drumming experience. Ken offers WA arts and music classes (Japanese traditions) in his dojo (studio) and goes to many public schools in Arizona to share Japanese culture with younger generations using origami, calligraphy, folk tales, folk music, taiko, and other Japanese instruments.Ken works with a group of Native American artists collaborating with their dance, music, drumming and singing. In November 2015 Ken was awarded music artist of the year by Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.
presenting Kotobuki Jishi, the Japanese Lion Dance
Kishin Daiko will be back this year with their drums and their shi shi mai or lion dog. Those scary looking guardians have the power to ward off bad luck, so be sure to let him take a good look at you.
presenting Nihon Buyo, Japanese Classical Dance
Celebrating 39 years of Japanese Classical Dance in Tucson, Arizona, the Suzuyuki-Kai offers classes and performances under the direction of Mari Kaneta-sensei. Buyo is usually compared to western ballet, with its emphasis on the training and skill of individual dancers, as well as the drawing on of themes from literature or history for its story telling. Pictured here is Haru Wa Hana, celebrating the four seasons in the former Capital city of Kyoto.
Professional author and award winning illustrator and story teller of children's books with a focus on Japanese folk tales, Sunny Seki will be telling the story of Himeji, which is Phoenix's sister city. He will also be promoting his newest book, The Little Kokeshi Doll from Fukushima. It features Kana-chan, a brave, clever girl who works at a hot springs in Fukushima. One day the village is struck by a huge earthquake, and because of the heroism of Kana-chan, the kokeshi doll is born. Written in bilingual English and Japanese, this is a beautiful story of the harmony of people nature, traditional craftsmanship, and survival.
Ninja Hero Action Theatre
J's Martial Arts Performance Academy also know as the J.MAP Academy is based in Mesa, Arizona. Led by Master Jacky, a former stuntman working many years in Japan. They specialize in Martial Arts, Sports Taekwondo, Self Defense, Performance Stunt and Acrobatics. Today's show will be an epic display kicks, flips, and tricks as we watch our Ninja Heroes make a journey to battle evil.
Ninja Hero Action Theatre
Ninja Hero Action Theater Presents Shinobi Rangers Galaxy Force
Ninja Hero Action Theater is based at J's Martial Arts Performance Academy in Mesa, Arizona offering classes for children and adults. Led by Master Jacky Jakeo, a former stuntman working many years in Japan, this year's team comprises of martial artists, dancers, and acrobats. Paying homage to Japanese Tokusatsu style shows such as Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Power Rangers, the show will be an epic display of kicks, flips, and tricks as we watch our Ninja Heroes make a journey to battle evil. Big thanks to ASU Dynamic Movement, Piladance by Rina, and Lesley's Salon. Please come see us after for pictures and information about our groups.
a cheerful 'domo arigato' (thank you) to the M.C. for the Plaza Stage Opening Ceremony: Wendy McCracken
Main Stage Performance Schedule will be finalized soon
Stage Location: Steele Indian School Park
Schedule times are subject to change without notice. Please check back for updates.