Japanese Summer Festival in Anderson Gardens
Visitors Enjoy Many Interactive Events
• Under the blue sky, thousands of visitors enjoyed Japanese
Summer Festival at the Anderson Gardens in Rockford on July 27 and 28.
David Anderson of the Gardens welcomed the visitors, and the Festival
opened with taiko drumming performance by the Ho-Etsu Taiko.
• At the Event Pavilion, popular Candyman amazed the audience with his magical performance. Martial arts demonstrations were displayed by Bujinkan dojo, Stephen Toyoda and his aikido team, and Shurikenjitsu by Meifu Shinkage Ryu. Beautiful Japanese traditional music and dances were also performed by the Chicago Koto Group and the Mikoren Awa Odori Chicago respectively.
• At the Guest House circle, haiku poem making and small
ikebana making were offered. Many visitors made a haiku poem, and their
poems were added to the Gardens’ tree. The visitors who made an ikebana
arrangement could bring it to their home. The members of Midwest Cosplay
Group were walking around the Gardens, so the visitors could take a photo
• Inside of the Visitor Center, children tried the challenge of Candy Sushi making, origami paper arts, and sumie drawing. The visitors were also challenged to become a samurai by trying on a set of armor offered by the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. Colorful kimono dresses by Ohio Kimono, Koi Art Kakejiku and T-shirts by Jack Matsumoto, handmade goods and collectibles, even an old soroban calculator were available for souvenir seekers.
• On a hot summer day, the members of tennis group, Project Love All, were busying themselves to sell shaved ice to help resurgence of the tsunami hit area of Tohoku. For hungry visitors, hearth-baked pizza and Thai cuisine were offered.
• A series of the tea ceremony was offered at the Guest
House, Tea House, and Gazebo next to the West Waterfall.
The People in the Garden
• On the deck of the Pond Strolling Garden, Jeff
Patchin and his students were cooling themselves for a while.
Patchin is “Shihan” master instructor of Bujinkan Dojo with the 10th degree
• Mary and Raj were strolling on the
path in the Garden. Mary had heard of the Garden from her acquaintance
and decided to come.
• George Masten, who was wearing a T-shirt
with Japanese letters “Asahi”, first visited the Anderson Gardens with
his uncle Scott Wells. Although he bought the T-shirt in a local store,
he had visited Japan two years ago. It was a school trip while he was
learning the Japanese language.
• Cara Dailey found the Summer Festival
through online and came to join it for the first time.
• Castanon family came to the Garden
for the first time because their son had visited it before and loved it.
• Near the Event Pavilion, Andy and Lorna Gilbert
were selling handmade crafts made of kimono fabrics. Lorna said, “We lived
in Japan for 21 years. After the Tsunami, we moved into the Tohoku area,
Ishinomaki, and we were working to help as volunteers in that area.”
Candyman Masaji Terasawa entertains the audience with his magical performance at the Anderson Japanese Gardens’ Summer Festival.
Calligrapher Seiran Chiba from Fukushima, Japan, draws kanji characters Reiwa which means “Beautiful Harmony.”
The visitors are interested in Japanese musical instrument “koto”.
Stephen Toyada (R) and his team demonstrate aikido.
Jeff Patchin of Bujinkan Dojo and his students
George Masten (R) and Scott Wells
Cara Dailey (R) and her friend
Castanon family: from left, daddy, Maribel, Selena, and Ruby