From anime to Zen, with tons of sushi in between, Americans have embraced Japanese culture like jolly sumo wrestlers. Get a better sense of the rich history and arts of Japan at the 55th annual Ginza Festival. Indoor and outdoor performances and activities include Taiko drummers, folk dancers, live music, martial arts demonstrations, bonsai and flower arranging demos and anime screenings. Master Waza craftsmen from Tokyo demonstrate generations-old skills creating crafts, and booths teem with Japanese dry goods and snacks, children's toys, kimonos, jewelry, anime and origami folding and food.
5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13; 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14; and 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 W. Menomonee St., Chicago. Admission is $4-$5, free for kids younger than 12. Call (312) 943-7801 or visit ginzachicago.com.
The 55th Annual Ginza Festival
In Historic Old Town Chicago
August 13th, 14th, 15th 2010 (always the second weekend in August)
Friday, August 13th, 2010, 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday, August 14th, 2010, 11:30 am - 9:30 pm
Sunday, August 15th, 2010, 11:30 am – 6:00 pm
CBS Channel 2 Chicago Friday August 7, 2009 11:00 am televised taiko segment
The 55th Annual Ginza Holiday, a large Japanese cultural festival, will be presented by the Midwest Buddhist Temple on August 13th, 14th, and 15th at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Chicago’s historic Old Town.
Flown in from Toyko for this event, four master craftsmen (Waza) will demonstrate their generations-old skills creating their unique crafts. The public will have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. The Waza create collectible pieces that often fetch many times their purchase price in the after market. Several other exhibits and booths will be filled with Japanese dry goods and snacks, children's toys, kimonos, jewelry, anime and origami folding.
Ho Etsu Taiko is a Japanese drum ensemble based at Chicago’s Midwest Buddhist Temple. As we continue to build upon our unique Taiko foundation stemming from both Japanese and American influences, our group aspires to bring a youthful and energizing sound to the stage.
One of our core philosophies focuses on the collective enjoyment of this wonderful cultural art, giving us our name, Ho Etsu or Joy of Dharma. Recent performances include the “Taiko 10” concert series at the 2009 Taiko Conference in Los Angeles as well as the annual installments of JASC Tsukasa Taiko’s “Taiko Legacy” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Our program has produced many talented players who have gone on to further develop their passion for Taiko with groups across the country including Gendo Taiko at Brown University, Cal Taiko at UC Berkeley, St. Louis Osuwa Taiko, and Tsunami Taiko of Seattle. Our membership is open to both seasoned and inexperienced players and interested parties are always welcome to observe our practices. For a preview of Hoetsu Taiko's performance here's a video clip of our performance at the 2009 Taiko Conference in Los Angeles.
In addition to the live performances, an abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine will be offered, including the famous open pit, charcoal grilled chicken teriyaki dinner, udon (Japanese cold noodles), sushi, edamame and grilled corn on the cob. For dessert try the kintoki (Japanese snow cone topped with sweet azuki beans). Premium Japanese beer, Sapporo, will also be available for purchase.
Featured in the festival will be ongoing stage performances with the entertaining taiko drumming by Twin Cities Kogen Taiko Group and the Midwest Buddhist Temple Taiko group, the Midwest Buddhist Temple Minyo Troupe, Fujima Shunojo Classical Dance Troupe, martial arts demonstrations, and the Na Kupuna Ukulele group.
Self defense tactics will be demonstrated by Aikido, Judo and Karate schools, while Kendo (Japanese fencing) will entertain the crowd.
Inside the temple, the exhibit hall will be filled with demonstrations and exhibits of bonsai, ikebana (flower arranging), kaminingyo (paper dolls), calligraphy, brush painting, silk flowers, and Japanese arts and crafts. Many of the products will be offered for sale.
The chapel will be open for guests who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, Reverend Ron Miyamura, Midwest Buddhist Temple minister, will deliver short dharma talks.
RETURNING THIS YEAR
Ginza expands into Saturday evening with Yoko Noge's Japanesque Band. Yoko’s music can be described as a combination of Japanese ''Minyo'' folk music with “Chicago blues.” Performed with electric piano, shamisen, horn section, and Yoko’s sweet and growly blues vocals, the Japanesque Band will warm the August night at their first appearance at Ginza. Yoko will perform at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday evening.
A benefit donation of $5 for adults, and $4 for students and senior citizens will be collected at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult.
The hours are: Friday, August 13, 5:30 pm-9:00pm; Saturday, August 14, 11:30 am-9:30 pm; Sunday, August 15, 11:30 am – 6:00 pm.
For information, call 312-943-7801