Program Description

1:15 pm Gujo Odori Dance (Song: Kawasaki & Harukoma)

Gujo Odori dance has been performed in Yawata in Gifu for 300 years. The dance is recognized as one of the Big Three Bon Odori dances in Japan. Bon Odori originated from a summer Buddhist ritual, but today, it has become an integral part of Japanese summer festivals. While some dances are commonly performed throughout the country, each region has its own locally developed dance. Gujo Odori has 10-song varieties of its dance, out of which, “Kawasaki” is the most famous.

1:30 pm  –  Instroduction & Candy 5

JPA Emcees explain the festival programs &  introduce Japanese Traditional Candy Artist, Candy 5  Japanese Traditional Candy Artist, Candy 5 shows how she makes traditional candies! She is one of only three of such artists based in the United States. Please come and see the traditional Japanese candy making performance!

1:45 pm – Awa Odori & Gujo Odori ( Gengen Barabara & Kocho Kawasaki)

Awa Odori dance is one of the Big Three Bon Odori dances in Japan. It is an unusual Bon Odori dance of Tokushima Prefecture.  Awa Odori started around 300 years ago in Tokushima Prefecture. There are at least 1,000 Awa Odori groups throughout Japan. JPA will teach its movements like a form of exercise to make it easier. After the practice round, we will dance together. Gujo Odori will follow without the instruction session.

2:15 pm – Kimono Wearing Demonstration

Kimono Wearing Demonstration conducted by Kimono Expert, Emi Kikuchi, and by kimono model, Sayaka Carpenter using kimonos donated by TORAY INDUSTRIES (AMERICA), INC.. The explanations will be given on the kimono product life cycle as a tradition of sustainable fashion.  Emi will explain the intricate details of kimono wearing techniques.

3:00 pm – Watermelon Splitting

This is a game a blindfolded player attempts to touch a watermelon with a stick. For safety, our Suikawari game will be “touching” the watermelon with a paper stick instead of “smashing” it with a wooden stick. Those who successfully touch the watermelons will receive prizes. For safety, the watermelon splitting game at our event will be “touching” the watermelons with a paper stick instead of “smashing” them. Those children who can successfully touch the watermelon will receive prizes.


3:45  pm – Awa Odori & Gujo Odori (Kawasaki & Harukoma) 

Please read about Gujo Odori & Awa Odori above.

4:15 pm – Wanage Competition  

We have two wanage boards and 9 rings for each board. The game player tosses the rings from a certain distance and they have to successfully hang on to any of the nine poles. Each of the poles is numbered and that’s the point(s) they win.  There are prizes depending on the number of points earned.