Japanese Performing Arts

2022 Performers 

Arizona Buddhist Temple

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. 

Glendale CC Soran Bushi Dance Team


The Glendale Community College Soran-bushi dance team was established by Japanese professor Tomomi Hayashi in 2012 during the first Japanese festival at Glendale Community College. The Japanese festival takes place at the college every March and is free and open to the public. The team has danced at Japanese events in the valley, including for the past couple of years at the AZ Matsuri. The Soran-bushi dance is a traditional fisherman’s song and dance from Hokkaido. The dance emulates the waves of the ocean, the fishermen pulling up their catch in their nets, as well as some of the movements of the sea creatures themselves, and lifting luggage over their shoulders. This dance is taught in schools all over Japan as part of the curriculum. During the dance, the words "Dokkoisho! Dokkoisho!" and "Soran! Soran!" are shouted and echoed by the other dancers. These words were used in the past to help motivate the fisherman during their hard work. 

Ken Koshio ​ 


Vocals and sanshin/Okinawan 3 string instrument, "Tinsagunu Hana"

singing traditional folk songs


Best Wishes from Old Japan 2021.jpg
Sunny and Judy Seki, Author and Illustrator


In our video, "BEST WISHES FROM OLD JAPAN," Sunny will introduce the folklore behind 1000 Cranes, and explain how this theme appears in his stories. Then he will present a reading of his folktale, The Tale of the Lucky Cat, and show how the themes of 100 Cranes and the Lucky Cat are related.

Kishin Daiko Kotobuki Jishi (Lion Dance) and Taiko


Founded in 1981 at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in West Covina, California, Kishin Daiko is a multi-ethnic, multi-generational taiko group that exemplifies harmony with diversity in their membership makeup and the music they play. Kishin Daiko’s music consists of traditional and adaptations of traditional Japanese taiko pieces, along with original compositions by contemporary musicians and Kishin members.

They have traveled to, and participated in, the Arizona Matsuri for over 10 years.

Mari Kaneta Suzuyuki-Kai


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.

Shakuhachi Flute Performance by Yu-Jin Sokushin


Short history and demonstration of the ancient music instrument which has been adopted by komuso, wandering monks, and used as a form of Zen practice in Japan for many centuries.

Check out the shakuhachi flute performance and get into your state of Zen. Shakuhachi are usually made from the root end of a bamboo culm and are extremely versatile instruments. Professional players can produce virtually any pitch they wish from the instrument, and play a wide repertoire of original Zen music, ensemble music with koto, biwa, and shamisen, folk music, jazz, and other modern pieces. 


Yu-Jin Sokushin has been given a music name Soku Shin by his teacher, in the tradition of the “Taizan Ha” lineage from Myoan-Ji (明暗寺) Temple in Kyoto, Japan.Yujin is a founder of “Ancient Sounds of Peace” non-profit project dedicated to promoting peace and harmony through the power of music and sounds.



The Japanese Art of Candy Sculpting "Amezaiku". (飴細工) 

A Japanese candy craft artistry. An artist takes multi-colored mizuame and, using their hands and other tools such as tweezers and scissors, creates a sculpture. Amezaiku artists also paint their sculpted candy with edible dyes to give the finished work more character. Animals and insects are common amezaiku shapes created to appeal to children. Intricate animal characters are created with expert speed. Some amezaiku artists are also street performers who perform magic tricks and tell stories along with their candy craft entertainment.



During the Heian period, the art of amezaiku was used in Japan for candy offerings made at temples in Kyoto. The amezaiku craft spread beyond the temple during the Edo period, when many forms of street performance flourished in Japan and when its base ingredient, mizuame, became widely available. In Edo it emerged in its present artistic form




A video message from Bentenya to Arizona Matsuri, Bentenya's latest performances from their studio in Nagoya Japan and also past show footage from their U.S. tour in October 2019. 
Chindon'ya (チンドン屋), also known as Japanese marching bands, and known historically as tōzaiya (東西屋) or hiromeya (広目屋/披露目屋) are a type of elaborately costumed street musicians in Japan who advertise for shops and other establishments. Chindon'ya, both historically and in the present day, advertise the opening of new stores or other venues, or promote special events such as price discounts. In modern day Japan, chindon'ya are a rare sight, having be usurped by other forms of advertising in media such as magazines, on television and on the internet.

Tanyon Berry Fue.jpg
Tanyon Berry


A student of Fushicho Daiko Dojo and Eileen Morgan, Tanyon Berry is proficient in both shinobue and Taiko Drumming and has studied both instruments for over 15 years, including several trips to Japan for lessons and performances,


Candy Art Hawaii
Candy Art Hawaii - Traditional Japanese Custom Made Lollipops


'Amezaiku' means candy art and it is the traditional Japanese art of sculpting hot candy into lollipops of various shapes and animals. Amezaiku dates back to the Edo era in the 17th century.

Nowadays there are not so many candy artists in Japan, and even many locals in Japan have never seen this dying art. By some estimates, there are less than 50 active professional candy artists in Japan.

We first learned this art through Ishiwari-sensei who is generally considered the Amezaiku master in Japan. We have also received invaluable advice and training from Okanishi-sensei of Kyoto, Japan and Candy Miyuki of Florida, USA.


Ōkura Shōnosuke


Born in 1955. Ōkura Shōnosuke is a Nō musician and Certified as a possessor of an important intangible cultural property. He is the eldest son of the grandmaster of the Ōkura school of kotsuzumi (shoulder drum) and ōtsuzumi (hip drum) nō musicians. Shōnosuke trained under his father and grandfather, and first performed on stage at the age of nine. He became the first ōtsuzumi musician in nō’s history to perform in all plays of an Okina tsuki go-ryū go-ban nō—a 12-hour performance of five plays by the five schools of nō lead actors, preceded by Okina, an ancient, ritualistic play. Shōnosuke collaborates with an array of world artists as an ōtsuzumi soloist and was invited to present a solo performance for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. Continues to give solo performances at ceremonies and events around the world. 

Ōkura Shōnosuke is a virtuoso ōtsuzumi drummer in the tradition-bound world of the nō theater, but he is also an innovative artist whose powerful, pulsating rhythms resonate with nature and with life itself.  https://www.nippon.com/en/views/b02332/