The Art Of Japan

An exciting cultural event is coming to Whitehorse soon! Taking place on Saturday, November 5, the Japanese Canadian Association of Yukon (JCAY) has teamed up with the City of Whitehorse to bring you Japan Fest. This cultural and interactive event will be held at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre (in the Grey Mountain Room) between noon and 3 p.m.

Attendees can expect to see demonstrations of Aikido (a modern Japanese martial art), Iaido (a martial arts style that showcases awareness and swordsmanship), Bon-Odori (a Japanese folk dance), Taiko drumming and Japanese violin and piano performances. Anime videos will be shown, and manga books will be available to read. A traditional Japanese tea ceremony will also be demonstrated.

There will be activities to participate in, such as origami crafts, calligraphy and face painting. If you are hungry and wanting to try some Japanese fare, free bento boxes will be given to the first 150 festival-goers (vegetarian options will be available).

Lindsay Agar is the corporate events coordinator for the City of Whitehorse and has collaborated with JCAY to bring Japan Fest.

“We were wanting to do a Japanese cultural event. After discussing some ideas, we came up with Japan Fest.” Originally this was planned for the summer, but due to people being able to go on holiday again in the summer, Agar thought it best to wait until the fall. “Japan Fest took about two to three months to plan. We hope everyone who comes has a fun time!”

An extra fun fact: Whitehorse has a Sister City, in Japan, called Ushiku. The relationship between the two cities started in 1985 and has been growing strong ever since. Ushiku is located northeast of Tokyo, near Kasumigaura Lake (also called Kasumigaura Bay). Each year, the host city alternates, and students visit Whitehorse or Ushiku to learn more about the cultures. In 2018, a group of 10 students, with three adults as chaperones, went to visit Ushiku. While there, they took in the amazing sites. They visited the famous 120-metre-tall Buddha statue, Ushiku Daibutsu, as well as some local schools, and learned to make miso. In 2019, when Japanese students came to Whitehorse, they went canoeing, visited wildlife preserves and enjoyed many other Yukon adventures. There is no cost for Japan Fest, and everyone is welcome. A special message from the Mayor of Ushiku will be read at Japan Fest, and the Mayor of Whitehorse will be popping by. Later next week, updates about Japan Fest events will be posted on the JCAY website, as well as in What’s Up Yukon.

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