It's the most wonderful time of the year
The summer is winding down, and festival season is approaching. Two big Japanese Festivals are coming up, and we're in our final week of preparations! Each year we spend the first two weekends of September taking part in festivals in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri, where visitors experience the rich culture of Japan without using a passport. Activities range from traditional music and dance to martial arts demonstrations, kimono fashion, bonsai and ikebana displays, storytelling, and more. The gardens are also open during the evening hours to enjoy a candlelit walk. Visitors will also have the chance to see and hear a lot
This weekend we head to Missouri Botanical Garden for the 42nd annual Japanese Festival in St. Louis. Touted as one of the largest Japanese festivals in the country, Labor Day weekend will be packed with with activities for all audiences. This year, we're especially excited to see the return of sumo, Japan's national sport. Sumo is a form of full-contact wrestling, and visitors will have the chance to see three rikishi
(professional wrestlers) perform matches and demonstrations throughout the weekend. In homage to the sport, we will be performing our own composition, Sumo in St. Louis, to celebrate its return to the garden.
Missouri Botanical Garden Japanese Festival
Saturday, August 31 - Monday, September 2
*All performances take place at Cohen Amphitheater except Opening Ceremony
Saturday - 11:00 AM Opening Ceremony (Yagura Stage)
Saturday - 7:00 PM
Sunday - 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Monday - 2:00 PM
The weekend of September 6-8 we travel to Springfield, Missouri for the 24th annual Japanese Fall Festival, located at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden in Nathanael Greene-Close Memorial Park. Springfield has celebrated a long relationship with its sister city Isesaki, Japan, and together they put on a festival that brings both traditional and pop Japanese culture to the Midwest. This year’s headliners include Zoomadanke, a lively duo that blends kendama, a traditional cup and ball toy, with music and dance, along with storyteller and magician Yasu Ishida, who combines Japanese theater, origami, magic and storytelling, making Japan come alive right here in the Midwest. We will be performing throughout the festival weekend.
Springfield Japanese Fall Festival
Friday, September 6 - Sunday, September 8
*Performance times are approximate
Friday - 6:10 PM Opening Ceremony
Friday - 7:20 PM
Saturday - 3:00 PM (with workshop) and 7:00 PM
Sunday - 2:30 PM
See the Class Recital Sunday, September 1st
Join us at Cohen Amphitheater at Missouri Botanical before our Sunday evening performance as our adult all-levels class performs their class-end recital! Students have been working hard this summer, learning the parts of a traditional Osuwa Daiko piece, and are ready to show off everything they've learned. Help us to cheer them on!
Adult All-Levels Class Recital
Missouri Botanical Garden - Cohen Amphitheater
Sunday, September 1 - 6:45 PM