The Springfield Regional Arts Council office will close at 3:30pm on Friday, September 8 to prepare for gyotaku— traditional Japanese fish printing at Japanese Fall Festival. Kanpai!
The Springfield Sister Cities Association, with support from the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, hosts the 22nd Annual Japanese Fall Festival Friday, Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 10, in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.
The annual festival celebrates Japanese culture and Springfield’s Sister City relationship with Isesaki, Japan, now marking more than three decades.
This year’s festival includes a special guest appearance by Branson fiddling star, Shoji Tabucchi, who makes his debut at the Japanese Fall Festival Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m.
The festival also features:
- Taiko drumming from Osuwa Takio.
- Japanese storyteller Karin Amano
- Japanese large-scale calligraphy with Seiran Chiba , who is from the area in Japan hit by the 2011 tsunami, and is visiting as an ambassador on behalf of the Japan Foundation.
- Japanese top spinning with Mr. Hiroshi Tada
- Kizuna, Springfield’s Japan-America Friendship Club, leading participatory folk dancing as well as tea ceremonies in the lakeside teahouse, and a tea café.
- Martial arts from Tracy’s Karate.
- Friday night opening ceremonies with hundreds of local Kindergarten-through-fifth grade students, acting as ambassadors from every Springfield public elementary school.
- Friday and Saturday night candlelight strolls through the garden, beginning at dusk.
- Hands-on kids’ activities from the Kickapoo High School Japanese Club, including chop sticks instruction, face painting, origami, and Japanese-style yo-yos.
- Cultural Activities tent featuring calligraphy, fish printing, crafts with visiting delegates from Japan and more, hosted by Springfield Regional Arts Council and Friends of the Garden.
- Local performers, a food court area and regional artisans and merchants.
- A large tent-top market offering authentic Japanese gifts, foods and apparel, with all proceeds benefiting the Springfield Sister Cities Association and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.
The three-day festival runs from 5-10 p.m. Friday night; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Friday and Sunday admission is $10/adult; $3/kids 3-12. Saturday admission is $15/adults, $3/kids. Toddlers age 2 and younger are free.