Taste of Japanese culture at festival

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Cats meow: Claire Johnson, left, and Jess Hast in cosplay costume will be selling cat ears at the Japanese Festival. Picture: Supplied

THE compelling and powerful sound of Japanese drums the size of wine barrels is sure to capture attention at Frankston High School’s senior campus in Foot Street on Sunday (6 May).

Taiko drumming group Wadaiko Rindo will be one of several highlights at the 2018 Japanese Festival, presented by Frankston Susono Friendship Association and designed to celebrate the sister city link as well as showcase Japanese culture.

The festival, from 10am-4pm, marks the 36th year of the sister city link between Frankston City and Susono, a city of 53,000 people on Japan’s main island of Honshu.

The event will be officially opened at 11am by Frankton mayor Cr Colin Hampton accompanied by friendship association chairman Peter Patterson, and a representative of the Japanese Consul-General’s office.

Now held every two years, the festival won a Sister Cities Australia national award for the 2016 event, and co-organiser Mr Patterson said this year’s festival would be even better, “a fantastic day of Japanese culture, music, food, activities, children’s games and entertainment”.

“We provide hands-on experiences for both children and adults,” Mr Patterson said. “There will be workshops for people to make Kyaraben, Japanese character lunch boxes, as well as kite making, origami, yo-yo balloons, mask colouring, hat making, fan colouring and other paper craft activities.”

He said other highlights would include a Beyblade (spinning tops) tournament, an Okinawan Sanshin band playing ancient stringed instruments, Okinawan-style singers, and prizes and giveaways.

Stalls will sell Nekomimi Mode cat ears and other products, Have A Nice Day goods handmade from Japanese materials, homemade Japanese sauces, and Harajuku sweet and savoury pancakes.

Frankston High students and teachers who will visit Japan in September will be selling a variety of sushi rolls and drinks.

Entry $2 a person or $5 a family. Details: Peter Patterson, 0419 581 023 or email: ptpatterson@optusnet.com.au

See facebook.com/frankstonsusono for more details.

First published in the Frankston Times – 30 April 2018

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