School is back in session, new FuJETs are getting used to their new homes, and the weather is finally (finally!) starting to cool down. Just when you thought the festival season was over, we now enter autumn and harvest festival seasons! No matter what you’re keen to do, there’s something on every weekend in the Lucky Island!
Name: Hinoemata Kabuki
Date: Saturday, September 1
Area: Minami Aizu
Time: Seating starts at 6pm, performance starts at 7pm
Price: 1,000 for day-trip people; free for those staying in hotels in the town
Address: 〒967-0521 福島県 南会津郡檜枝岐村 字居平
Details: Watch traditional Edo-period Kabuki that has been passed down by Hinoemata villagers for more than 260 years. It is held in an outdoor theater and will only be cancelled due to heavy rain. It is only accessible by car and a bit out of the way, but well worth the journey!
Details: From 1pm. Men can join the bouts, women can watch as the men compete in actual sumo bouts in little more than their underwear. A car is needed to access this mountainous spot. If you wish to fight, contact John Loynes asap via the Facebook event page.
Help bring the world closer to Aizu on Sunday, September 30th!
Did you know Aizu Wakamatsu has 740 foreign residents from over 40 countries? Come celebrate the diverse cultures of our city’s residents with our international festival, held once every two years, and which attracts over 2,000 visitors.
Learn about the colorful cultures of the world without having to leave the city and make new friends and new experiences.
Every two years, the Aizu Wakamatsu International Association holds an event where you can travel around the entire globe without leaving the Aizu Castle gym! ‘How?’ you may ask. At the Aizu International Festival! Outside of the castle gym, over a dozen international food stands set up. In years past you could eat American-style pulled pork barbecue, Canadian hot dogs, Korean chijimi, Nepali momo and more before even setting foot inside of the castle gym.
Inside the gym, a variety of booths are set up. Some showcase different countries and cultures, others are to help promote and support local charities and some are selling international goods and crafts. During the last international festival just some of the things that you could do included hunting dragons with Saint George at the U.K. booth and trying some infamous Vegemite at the Australia booth.
Besides the standard booths, there is a play area for small children, a face painting corner (come see me there!), and various performaces on stage ranging from karaoke contests, dance groups, traditional instrumental performances, magic shows, and more.
Sound like your cup of tea? The Aizu Wakamatsu International Association is currently recruiting for the festival, which will be held on Sunday, September 30th. They are looking for people interested in running food stalls as well as country booths in the gym.
The country booths are what we FuJETs are best at helping out with! Why not take this opportunity to come and volunteer in the Samurai City of Aizu Wakamatsu and help share your country and culture? You can sign up to lead a table of your own or to help support the leader of another country. Not sure what you can do? Need someone to brainstorm ideas with? Aizu Wakamatsu’s lovely CIR, Tammy (email@example.com), will be able to help answer any questions you may have! (And of course, as a multiple-time veteran of this event, you are always free to message me too!)
This may sound exhausting but I can guarantee that it is fun and a great experience. You’ll get to meet local children, other foreigners from around the globe, and give a little something back to community in the form of your awesome selves. Even if you don’t live in the Aizu area, we’d love for you to come and volunteer. If you need help with transportation, directions, or need help finding a place to crash the night before, again please don’t hesitate to contact any of us Aizu-area folks for help!
So– what are you waiting for? Sign up today using the google form here! After all, sharing and learning about cultures from all over the world is part of why we all came here to the Lucky Island of Fukushima!
Details and General Schedule from Festivals Past (These times are /not/ confirmed for this year but are here to help you get an idea of what volunteering this year will be like based on previous festivals!) Generally, volunteering for the entire day of the festival will be from 8AM~4PM but if you are only able to come for part of the day, we are happy to have you volunteer!
If you are running/helping support a booth at the festival:
Set up time is available the day before, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, and on the day of the festival, from 8:00am to 10:00am.
If you are volunteering with the festival:
Festival Set-up: Saturday, September 29th, any time from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. A volunteer meeting will be held at 6:00pm.
Festival Day: Sunday, September 30th, any time from 7:30am to 4:30pm.
Summer is officially here. Despite the heat and humidity, summer in Japan can be a magical time. From the star festival of Tanabata to delicious Fukushima peaches coming into season to festivals every weekend, this is Japan at its best. Don your jinbei and yukata, eat that Blue Hawaiian shaved ice and make the most of the festival atmosphere! After all, the best way to beat the summer heat is to have so much fun you forget about it!
Also– keep your eyes peeled for a second list of summer events dedicated solely to the many fireworks events around our beautiful lucky island, Fukushima!
This list, and all following event lists, will continuously be updated weekly throughout the month on Wednesdays until the month turns over to a new roundup. This list isn’t inclusive of all events, so please, feel free to contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org you have events you’d like to be included here.
Without further ado, your July 2018 events! Read more
Now on to part 2 of the Faces Behind the Fuku-ing Fabulous Drag Ball: The Sequel! This time I spoke with our second-time master of ceremonies(MC), my very own crazy talented and lovely co-editor, Mercedez! As the final preparations for tomorrow’s event begin, I was lucky enough to hear Mercedez’s insightful and personal insights and experiences regarding drag, queer culture, and tomorrow night’s event.
Note from Mercedez: I will use queer to refer to myself throughout this interview, especially when it comes to my personal identity and the community I participate in at large.