From April 6th – 10th, the week leading up to our Sakura Sunday celebrations, the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a Japanese Culture Week! Each day will feature a different aspect of Japanese Culture for you to learn about and participate in. By the time Sakura Sunday comes around, you will be an expert on Japan! Each demonstration will be from 12:00 – 1:00 PM, located in the Liberty Place Rotunda. Attendance is free!
Our first demonstration is the art of calligraphy. With a little practice, you can learn this traditional writing style like a pro. Calligraphy is a fun way to express yourself, and is a relaxing respite from a busy work day. We will be on hand to assist you with your kanji and teach you the basics of brush and ink writing.
Everyone is familiar with the art of paper folding, and origami masters are famous globally for their intricate, large scale designs. On Tuesday, you can learn the steps to make some of your favorite critters out of paper! You can learn anything from the ever-popular crane, to delicate flowers. Just choose your paper, and get folding! You’ll be amazed when you see what you can make without using a single cut!
Who hasn’t wanted to try on a kimono? Stop by on Wednesday for an opportunity to wear the iconic Japanese outfit. Men and women’s kimono are both available! This is a great opportunity for a hands-on kimono experience, as there is a lot to learn about kimono culture and the rules and meaning of coordinating colors.
Thursday, April 9 – Kamishibai Story-telling
Kamishibai, or paper story, is a traditional form of mass story-telling. Considered to be the popular predecessor to manga and anime, kamishibai involves telling a story through the use of a scroll, which is rotated through a frame, almost like a “moving picture”. While this is usually geared toward children, everyone is welcome to come and enjoy our kamishibai presentation on Thursday.
On Friday its time for a little fun, where you can challenge your friends and others to some Japanese games of strategy. We will be playing the ancient games of Shogi and Go! Shogi is similar to chess, but you don’t need to know chess to play! This game is fun and easy to learn for all ages. If you want more of a challenge, Go is the game for you. The inspiration for Othello, Go is easy to learn, but difficult to master. The goal is to control the most area on the board by surrounding it with your pieces. Your opponent can counter your moves by flipping your pieces, meaning that there are many possible outcomes to any given match. Go has become especially popular internationally, with tournaments featuring the world’s best Go players regularly making headlines in Japan.
The Liberty Place is located at 16th & Chestnut Sts 1625 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.