Japanese Events in Phoenix: March 2018

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Now that February has ended, we have to wait another year for Phoenix’s most popular Japanese event, the Arizona Matsuri, to begin again. However, there are plenty of other cultural events happening in the valley to keep us busy for the month of March. We have listed our findings here:

Lecture: The Legacy of Japanese American Baseball

As part of its Discovery Japan series, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is holding a lecture series on the”importance of Japanese American baseball and its role in the history of the United States and Japan, Arizona and baseball in general.” Author Bill Staples junior will head the event.

Date and Time:
Thursday, March 1, 2018
6:00pm
Tickets:
Free with RSVP
Location:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. 2nd. St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Event Page

Yamato: The Drummers of Japan

We are excited to see that the esteemed Yamato drummers are here in Arizona this month! The 16-member troupe combines traditional taiko style drum performances with elaborate choreography and costumes.

Originating in Nara, the group tours the world for most of the year. Since 1993, they have given more than 2,500 performances. Their goal is to “send audiences home after each performance with a new vitality and passion for life.”

Yamato will perform at 3 Arizona venues this month, listed below:

Date and Time:
Thursday, March 1, 2018 @ 7:30pm (Wickenburg)
Saturday, March 3, 2018 @ 2:00pm and 8:00pm (Scottsdale)
Sunday, March 3, 2018 @ 3:00pm (Tucson)
Tickets:
$25-$70
Locations:
Del E Webb Center: 1090 S. Vulture Mine Rd. Wickenburg, Arizona 85390
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts: 7380 E. 2nd. St Scottsdale, AZ 85251
U of A Centennial Hall: 888 N. Euclid, Rm. 203, Tucson, AZ 85721
Event Page

Cool Nihongo Language Class

During the first Friday of every month, the Japanese Friendship Garden hosts a meet-up for Japanese culture and language enthusiasts. The garden offers a friendly and relaxed setting for visitors to practice their language skills as well as explore the garden. February’s topic will be Setsubun, or the beginning of spring.

Date and Time:
Friday, March 2, 2018
4:30pm-5:30pm (*garden open until 7:30pm)
Tickets:
$10 for Nihongo Class
Free Garden Admission
Location:
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
1125 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix Arizona 85003
Event Page

Sogetsu Ikebana Workshop

The Japanese Friendship Garden is also holding a Sogetsu Ikebana Workshop this month. Sogetsu is a more modern take on the practice of Ikebana. Founded in 1927, the Sogetsu school supports the idea that anyone can enjoy the practice and may use a variety of materials.

Date and Time:
Saturday March 3, 2018
10:00am-12:00pm
Tickets:
$35 general, $30 for members
(Includes garden admission)
Location:
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
1125 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix Arizona 85003
Event Page

Concert: Jake Shimabukuro

Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro was born in Hawaii, but his music is widely popular in Japan. He first gained fame in Hawaii as part of a trio before beginning a solo career in Japan with Sony. In 2006, he became internationally well-known after a Youtube video of one of his performances went viral.

Shimabukuro’s performances range from traditional Hawaiian to jazz, pop, and funk. We can’t wait for his concert this month at the Mesa Arts Center!

Date and Time:
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 7:30pm
Tickets: 
$37.00
Location:
Mesa Arts Center- Ikeda Theater
1 E. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201

Ikenobo Japanese Workshop

For those interested in learning the most traditional forms of Ikebana, the Japanese Friendship Garden is hosting a workshop for Ikenobo Ikebana. This practice dates back to the 15th century. According to the garden website, January’s workshop will feature Shoka Maze-Ike, or “using two materials of differing quality and form “mixed” to create a harmonious whole.”

Date and Time:
Thursday, March 8, 2018 and Friday, March 9, 2018
9:30am-12:00pm
Tickets:
$30 general, $25 for members (materials included)
Location:
Windship House
216 W. Portland St. Phoenix Arizona 85003
Event Page

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Tea Ceremony Event
Held on the third Saturday of each month at the Japanese Friendship Garden, the tea ceremony is a great way to experience a snapshot of Japanese culture. Please note that participants must be 12 years or older, and reservations are highly encouraged.

Date and Time:
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Multiple seatings from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Tickets: 

$30.00 per seating, $25.00 for seniors and garden members
Location:
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
1125 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix Arizona 85003
Event Page

Lecture: Exporting the Cult of Cuteness

As part of the Scottsdale Art Center’s Discovery Japan series, this lecture will focus on popular manga and anime characters. Art Historian Deborah Deacon will lead this free lecture.

Date and Time:
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
6:00pm
Tickets:
Free with RSVP
Location:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. 2nd. St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Event Page

Vernal Vibrations in the Garden

For the second year in a row, the Japanese Friendship Garden is hosting a spring event that allows patrons to “immerse yourself in the vibrations of multiple gongs while feeling fully supported in the beauty of the garden.” Visitors will have the opportunity to experience “deep reflection and release” through yoga and meditation.

Per the garden website, visitors are asked to bring a yoga mat and dress comfortably.

Date and Time:
Sunday, March 18, 2018
10:00am – 11:30am
Tickets: 

$25.00 general, $20.00 members
(Garden admission included)
Location:
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
1125 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix Arizona 85003
Event Page

Dance Performance: Enmei (Long Life)

The Scottsdale Center for the Arts is showcasing a variety of lectures and performances this month as part of its Discovery Japan series. The dances of Enmei bring together “dance artists, scholars and musicians from Japan and the United States to explore what it means and what it takes to age as a woman in the field of contemporary dance.”

Date and Time:
Friday, March 23, 2018
8:00pm
Tickets:
$10 – $29
Location:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. 2nd. St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Event Page

Haru in the Garden

What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring in Phoenix than to attend the Japanese Friendship Garden’s annual Haru festival? This event will feature a variety of music, traditional art displays, and food and drink.

As the garden is normally just open during daylight hours, this is a unique opportunity to enjoy the garden in the evening. Attendees will “experience the colors and sounds of the season while strolling through our entrancingly lit pathways.”

Date and Time:
Saturday, March 24, 2018
6:00pm to 9:00pm
Tickets: 

$25.00 general, $20.00 members, $5.00 children
Location:
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
1125 N. 3rd Ave. Phoenix Arizona 85003
Event Page

Lecture: Lowrider Culture from Southwest to Japan

This is the final lecture this month from the Scottsdale Arts Center’s Discovery Japan series. Led by photographer Luke Dorsett, this free event will explore lowrider culture, including its existence in Japan for the past thirty years.

Date and Time:
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
6:00pm
Tickets:
Free with RSVP
Location:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (Stage 2)
7380 E. 2nd. St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Event Page


We hope everyone enjoys the many Japanese cultural events Phoenix has to offer this month! Did we miss any key events? Feel free to add your recommendations to the comment section below.

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About Tara Brichetto

Tara is a Phoenix native who enjoys learning about the many cultural events Arizona has to offer. She is especially interested in Japanese culture after teaching in Japan through Phoenix Sister Cities. Tara currently works as an analyst and serves as a coordinator for students on CIEE's high school exchange program.

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