Ginza Holiday 2018 Continues Tradition of Japanese Summer Festival in Chicago
• Ginza Holiday, the annual three-day celebration of Japan’s food and culture, was held in Chicago August 10 – 12, feasting the eyes and taste buds of Chicagoans with traditional handicrafts and festival food favorites.
• Launched as a fundraising event by Midwest Buddhist Temple, Ginza Holiday now celebrates 63 years of sharing the flavor of Japan’s traditional summer festival and cultural heritage with the people of Chicago and beyond.
• The premises of the temple were filled with rows of
vendors offering colorful Japanese arts and crafts, antiques, accessories,
T-shirts and kimonos while the food court lured the hungry visitors with
udon noodles, sushi, spam rice balls, edamame, corn on a cob and ice-cold
beer as well as the smoke-fuming famous teriyaki chicken.
• “The Waza” event is the special feature of Ginza Holiday to offer visitors an occasion to see demonstration by Japanese traditional craft masters and buy their handiworks. This year’s participating masters were Yuzo Mouri, a third-generation artisan of bamboo craft from Oita Prefecture; Masahiro Kawakami, also a third-generation maker of dye-painting tenugui (Japanese hand towel) from Asakusa, Tokyo; Yoko Kamada, a shiatsu acupressure practitioner from Hokkaido; and Eiji Kinoshita, an earthenware creator from Oita Prefecture.
• Mouri made his first appearance at Ginza Holiday with
his bamboo craftwork featuring purses, chopsticks and accessories, following
the footsteps of his father, Kenichi.
• Kawakami represented Fuji-ya, a dye-painting tenugui
shop located in Tokyo’s famous tourist spot Asakusa.
• Acupressurist Yoko Kamada returned to Ginza for the
second time since 2015, when her acupressure massage caused a sensation.
This time, again, she was fully booked throughout the festival.
• Eiji Kinoshita is now a familiar face at Ginza. Coming
back to Chicago repeatedly for 16 years, he has many fans of his handmade
• Kinoshita was one of the four Japanese artisans who
were invited to the opening ceremony of the Detroit Institute of Arts’
Japan Gallery last November. Others included Ichimatsu Doll maker Kokan
Fujimura, dye-painting tenugui maker Chihiro Kawakami and wood carver
• The Japan Gallery has been added to the Detroit Institute
of Arts (“DIA”) to commemorate the fresh start of the museum, as some
of the Japanese corporations in the area offered donations as part of
the effort to keep the museum from auctioning off its world-class collections
during Detroit’s financial crisis.
• Kinoshita, whose earthenware exhibition attracted enthusiastic
buyers, hosted a pottery workshop during the two-day event. A local college
offered its students up to two credits for participating in the workshop.
• Kinoshita, who was pivotal in connecting Ginza Holiday’s
artisans and the DIA Japan Gallery, stressed his appreciation of the ties
between the two. “Volunteer translators for Ginza Holiday drove all the
way to Detroit to attend the opening ceremony,” he said.
Yuzo Mouri, a third generation artisan of bamboo craft from Oita Prefecture, Japan
The all-day stage entertains the visitors.
Volunteers grill tasty chicken teriyaki at Ginza Holiday.