Festival of Japan will be held at Laramie High School on Sept. 29 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The festival is being hosted by he Japan-American Society of Wyoming. They have scaled down the festival this year.

Due to the proximity of the Japanese consulate in Denver, Laramie has access to additional resources.

“Our mission is to promote friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and US. So we believe our mission will be enhanced through the festival like this,” The president of JASWY, Ken Matsuno said.

This is a bi-yearly festival to celebrate and promote enjoyment of Japanese culture. Also, the festival will offer a glimpse into Japanese culture. JASWY does this to promote cross-cultural connections between Japan and the United States. 

“In Laramie we have a fairly sizable Japanese population of folks that are either first, second, and third generation Japanese folks who have moved here or folks that have grown up here,” Will Plumb explained.

LHS was chosen to host the festival for many reasons: the International Club and Japan Culture Club are here and co-sponsoring the event; the theatre is a great venue for showcasing the Japanese dances; the kitchen is available to make and sell food and if it was held at the University it would look more like a University event rather than a community event.

Past performances have included puppetry – such as marionettes, martial arts demonstrations, musical groups, and calligraphy.

Some events at the current festival will be Taiko drumming, Japanese dance, music, calligraphy, Koto playing, martial arts demonstrations, an anime showing, language, a Japanese movie, etc. They will be selling different foods and goods. 

Denver Taiko will be drumming at the festival. Taiko drumming is a traditional Japanese drumming style. The Taiko has a lot of history to it. There are many size drums, but the typical old Taiko are big drums that are used in traditional festivals and events in Japan. 

There is a lot of culture and heritage, not just in the music, but in how the music is written and the drum is played. There are specific Taiko songs or rhythms that are specific to different areas of Japan. All Taiko groups in the region have connections to very specific Taiko groups in Japan. 

There will also be events for children like water balloon yo-yo fishing, and kendama. Kendama is a Japanese toy. Some other children’s activities will be calligraphy, learning Japanese words, arts and crafts, and dancing demonstrations. 

The event is open to the public, and there is no admission fee.