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Japanese festival coming to Bellevue College
The 12th annual Aki Matsuri Fall Festival, a two-day celebration of the Japanese culture, will take place this year Sept. 12-13 at Bellevue College.
Presented by the Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association, Aki Matsuri will include two tea ceremony demonstrations, the 18th Annual Koi Show by Washington Koi & Water Garden Society, a Tsugaru Nuri exhibit, martial arts demonstrations, authentic Japanese food and more than 70 exhibitors featuring Japanese arts and culture.
The fall festival started in 1998 when husband and wife team, Tom and Katsuko Brooke moved to the Bellevue area from Kobe, Japan. They arrived during the last year of Japan Week in Bellevue. With Japan Week no longer in existence, the couple set out to create a festival that would continue celebrate the Japanese-American culture.
"More than half the Japanese community in the area live here in Bellevue and we wanted to create a festival that would celebrate the rich culture and history of the Japanese people," said Tom. "We have worked with other community groups and businesses to produce a truly authentic experience."
The Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association became an official non-profit in 2000 and moved the annual festival to the main campus of Bellevue College. The crowds were fairly modest in the first years, attracting around 3,000 people over the course of the weekend. Last year, the Aki Matsuri festival catered to more than 12,000 people and it has become a regional event.
This year's festival will include a lecture on Tsugaru as one of the last undiscovered areas of Japan by Tsugaru District Researcher, Professor Anthony S. Rausch from Hirosaki University. The festival will also include a Bonsai Workshop by Wayne J. Brewer of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association and A New Look at Old Traditions workshop for K-12 teachers by the East Asia Resource Center from the University of Washington.
Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425.453.4602.
The 12th Annual Aki Matsuri Festival will take place on Saturday, September 12 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., and on Sunday, September 13, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. at Bellevue College Main Campus, 3000 Landerholm Circle SE at C-Building, R-Building and the gymnasium. For more information, visit http://www.enma.org/index.htm.