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Thursday 7 March 2024

The Japan Society Spring MiniFest - Photos

The Japan Society Spring MiniFest - Photos

On Saturday 2 March 2024, we hosted The Japan Society Spring MiniFest in West Kensington with the aim of introducing young people up to age 18 and their families to Japanese culture and its various art forms.

The day began with a morning session aimed at families with young children. Despite the rain, families from across London came together to make origami, try their hand at shodo (Japanese calligraphy) and decorate their own wooden dolls to celebrate Hina Matsuri (also known as The Doll's Festival) the following day. A Thousand Cranes offered visitors the chance to learn about the art of the “paper theatre”, with a wonderful and lively kamishibai performance of The Great Race.

For the afternoon session, which brought a little more sunshine, teenagers were invited to join us for more activities. Manga artist, Chie Kutsuwada, guided participants in designing their own manga character in ukiyo-e style; then later, everyone gathered to watch two mesmerising shamisen performances by Denshonen students of Hibiki Ichikawa (Europe’s only Tsugaru shamisen teacher), who were more than pleased to answer questions about the traditional instruments and give interested children an opportunity for a closer inspection.

With Hina Matsuri just around the corner, families could see a display of hina dolls and join in the typical matsuri festivities of writing wishes on ema boards and picking paper omikuji fortunes for the coming spring!