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Tea Ceremony Demonstration at the Anderson Gardens
Anderson Gardens Celebrates
a New Season and Children’s Day

• The Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford celebrated the start of a new season and Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi) on May 7. Children’s Day is a Japanese national holiday, which takes place annually on May 5, to honor children’s personalities and celebrate their healthy growth.

• In the celebration, many kinds of activities were offered. The Ho Etsu Taiko performed traditional Japanese taiko drumming, and the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai performed Okinawa’s traditional dance and music. Bon Odori Dance, which was originally to welcome the ancestors’ spirits during Obon, was instructed, and many children with yukata dresses joined the dance.

• At a square near the sukiya style guest house and tea house, a bowl of matcha (ceremonial green tea) was served to the visitors by Chai Town Tea. Japanese traditional games such as hanetsuki and kendama were offered near the tea table. Hanetsuki is similar to badminton and is played with wooden paddles and colorful shuttlecock. Kendama is similar to the American ball and cup game. The visitors tried and enjoyed the games with laughter.

• At the West Waterfall deck, children and their parents enjoyed Carp Flag making. The carp flag is a symbol of Children’s Day. Families in Japan raise carp flags to wish the children’s health and growth.

• Guest House Tours were offered for the visitors. The guest house, tea house, and the gate of the gardens were built with sukiya style, which was a traditional method of construction in Japan. They were built in Japan and dismantled, then transported to the Anderson Gardens to reassemble. They are very valuable buildings; thus, they are not ordinarily open to general visitors.

• In the Visitor Center, many activities were offered for children. In the origami booth, children made kabuto helmets, which were wearable.
• Children especially enjoyed candy sushi making. Sachiyo Koester instructed on how to make candy sushi. Instead using sushi rice, the children used rice crispy and marshmallow. Green-colored frosting was used as wasabi, and gummies and fruit roll-ups were used for sushi ingredients and nori.
• Karuta card games, shodo calligraphy instruction, and top spinning were also offered at the visitor Center.
• At the lower level gallery in the center, the presentation “A Samurai’s Life in Modern Japan: An Amateurish Way of Doing Business” by Shuma Iwai and “Garden of Roses: Nisei Women as Collaborators in Transwar Japan” by Carly Buxton were held.

The Anderson Japanese Gardens
• Hours through October 31:
• Mon – Fri: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
• Sat & Sun: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Admission Rates:
• Adults $8.00
• Seniors (62+) $7.00
• Students: $6.00
• Children 5 Y.O. & Under Free
• More Information is available at

Deputy Consul General Keiko Yanai tastes a bowl of tea.

The visitors enjoy playing ken-dama.
Candy sushi making

Candy roll sushi
Authentic Japanese garden, the Anderson Gardens