Join us for our 20th Anniversary Weekend, September 8-9, 2018

Japan House is excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary at our permanent home with a weekend of events in September including a bevy of national and international performers and artists at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, a dinner/fundraiser featuring a team of local and Japanese female chefs, and the annual Matsuri Festival at the Arboretum in and around Japan House.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration will highlight female artists and performers in recognition of Professor Emeritus Kimiko Gunji, the former director of Japan House who was instrumental in establishing our permanent location. She obtained funding from various Japanese organizations, donors from around the world, and much community support for the development of this Japan House in 1998, despite the fact that Japanese culture, including the Way of Tea , has traditionally been dominated by men.

September 8th
Japan House’s Twentieth Anniversary Celebration at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

The performance at Krannert Center on Saturday, September 8th will begin at 2:00 pm. The celebration will feature Japanese musicians and performers, including five musicians from the Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music in Japan specializing in traditional koto and shamisen playing; Michiyoshi Sato, a prominent Japanese player of the tsugaru jamisen; Ho Etsu Taiko, a Japanese drumming group from Chicago; and obon odori, a Japanese folk dance performed during Obon festivals in Japan. The event will also include a tea ceremony by representatives of the Urasenke School of Tea in Kyoto, a parade of models in kimono dressed by head teacher, Toshie Kasada of the Hakubi Kimono School in Tokyo, and a large-scale calligraphy executed by Japanese calligrapher Seiran Chiba.

September 8th
Dinner and Fundraiser

An elegant dinner and fundraiser titled “East Meets Midwest” will be held that same evening, Saturday, September 8th at 7:00 pm. The dinner will feature a top female chef from Japan, Chef Suzuko Enomoto, who will be collaborating with noted local female chefs from Champaign-Urbana, Whitney Ackermann and Raquel Ritz. This dynamic trio will create five carefully crafted courses to be paired with either wine or sake. The dinner will be held within the Arboretum in a tent overlooking the ponds and Japan House, and will include a variety of speakers and performers highlighting the best moments of the past twenty years. This should be a most spectacular meal and memorable evening celebrating the next twenty years of Japan House!

Tickets are $275 per person for general public, or $250 per person forTomonokai members.

Tables of 8 are available at the price of $2000 and includes (one 1.8L Sake bottle for the table; Japan House 20th Anniversary Commemorative Tea by Republic of Tea for each guest; Japan House 20th Anniversary Commemorative can of beer by Triptych Beer for each guest; and a coupon for participation in a tea ceremony at Japan House for each guest).

Call 217-244-9934 for more information or to make a reservation.

September 9th
Matsuri Festival

The 4th annual Matsuri Festival will be held on Sunday, September 9th from 2:00 - 9:00 pm, in and around Japan House and the Arboretum. Matsuri, a family-friendly event, will feature martial arts demonstrations and musical performances, local craft vendors, Asian-inspired food, children’s activities, as well as the crowd favorite Masaji Terasawa, the Candyman, a Japanese street performer whose amezaiku creations are truly ephemeral art pieces. Because of the 20th anniversary, our Matsuri will be an expanded version of years past. This year, we will feature specialty beers from Triptych Brewing and sake from Maverick wines! We will top off the weekend’s activities with performances by internationally known Japanese all-female rock bands the 5, 6, 7, 8’s and Shonen Knife and then culminating the evening with fireworks.

Admission to Matsuri and all performances are FREE! Tickets for food, drinks and activities are budget-friendly, and for the first time, are available online for pick-up prior to the event. To purchase pre-event packages of Matsuri t-shirts and tickets, please see below.

Online Tickets

Pre-event Matsuri packages (for T-shirts and Food/Drink/Activity Tickets) can be purchased in online at the link below. Admission to Matsuri and all performances are free.
Purchase Here

Japan House Twentieth Anniversary Celebration

Tickets for the Japan House Twentieth Anniversary Celebration at the Krannert Center for the Perfoming Arts will be available through their box office on July 14.
Purchase Here

If you have any questions, please contact us at (217) 244-9934 or japanhouse@illinois.edu.