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All are invited to Japanese Festival
Koji Kuwahara
Antelope Staff
Courtesy photo
Japanese Association at Kearney (JAK) members discuss the upcoming Japanese Festival scheduled on Sunday, Nov. 8, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ponderosa room.

Koji Kuwahara, a former Antelope staffer, invites the campus and community to the Japanese Festival Nov. 8. Kuwahara says:

Japanese Festival can help build new characteristics and familiarize people with a new culture. This festival can teach you knowledge, rewarding you with new experience and new understanding. Good food can taste bad just because it tastes different than people expected. The same is true of everything, especially in cultural understanding. People sometimes have a stereotype about foreign cultures. Knowing and studying about the foreign culture is the beginning of a new world view that can break down a stereotype.

Ryuji Takemoto, president of Japanese Association at Kearney (JAK) said this is an opportunity to understand the Japanese students and grow. “Since I came to Kearney,” he said, “I have learned lots of differences between countries. I grew up considerably through the valuable experience. That is why I would like to give others a chance to know Japanese culture.”

The festival gives people a chance to study the Japanese culture to learn about people in different regions who have different lifestyles, Takemoto said. “Japanese Festival is a valuable chance to touch Japanese culture. Because the festival is completely managed by Japanese, it becomes the Japanese style festival.”

Most of the people in Kearney have never been to Japan, and JAK members realize it is difficult for those people to know Japan. Therefore, they offer Japanese Festival as a good chance to experience Japan here at home.

Takemoto said the concept of JAK 2009 is to draw as many people as we can involve into the events. “In addition to this, if all UNK students join and enjoy the festival, I am glad more than anything. I hope you come and love Japan.”

JAK puts effort into two big events. One of them, the Sakura festival, held in the spring semester shows old Japan and offers a chance to experience Japanese traditional culture. JAK wants to show modern Japan in the Japanese Festival allowing participants to experience modern Japanese entertainment.

“We have stage performances and lots of booths. Everything about Japan is very significant, and the meaning is very deep,” Takemoto said.

On the stage, Japanese Festival will offer a yukata (Japanese garment) collection, Kendo demonstration, Soran Dance, hip-hop dance and a modern Japanese chorus. Booths will offer free Japanese food, shodo (calligraphy), a robot show, Japanese clothing, video games, popular new music and Kanji face painting.

Attending the Japanese Festival is one of the best ways to build good relationships between people of different cultures. People have different attitudes, ideas, values and goals based upon culture. Japanese Festival can break down borders.

While the world struggles with differences between people, Japanese Festival is a way for humans to relate to each other all over the world. This festival is Sunday Nov. 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Ponderosa Room. Please come and see this big event.

To learn more about JAK, please visit


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