Finally, the event culminated in an impressive display by the Tsukasa Taiko drumming troupe. The all-ages performers performed a few beginner pieces and advanced works to show one of Japan’s most respected traditions.
The Japan Club brought in three guest performances to feature in Bunkasai. The first was a voice and acoustic guitar pair, Weinberg sophomore Ellen Zhou and junior Michael Chen, who performed a few songs to kick off the event, as people flowed in. “Our last song was ‘Robinson,’ a popular Japanese song. We just wanted to create a relaxed experience for people while they were eating,” said Zhou.
Next up was a demonstration from two members of the Ju-Jutsu Club on campus, a group that practices Japanese Ju-Jutsu, not to be confused with the Brazilian type.
The photo booth provided students with yukata, traditional Japanese summer clothes, to try on.
The Japan Club hosted several cultural activities and educational stations including a photo booth, manga (Japanese comics), origami, a wishing tree and Shodo, Japanese calligraphy. At this booth, they supplied sheets of blank paper, India ink and brushes for attendees to try their hand at the ancient Japanese art.
No cultural event is complete without a display of the culture’s most delicious foods, including, in this case, gyoza (Japanese dumplings), Japanese-style curry, kakigori (Japanese shaved ice) and yakisoba, pictured above, prepared right in front of guests.
Weinberg freshman Austin Chambers and McCormick freshman Sean Ye proudly present the Japan Club’s poster at Bunkasai’s entrance. “This event is the largest thing Japan Club does all year, and it’s been fun to work with all these people,” Chambers said.
Photos by Allison Mark / North by Northwestern
Sunday afternoon in Parkes Hall found Northwestern’s Japan Club celebrating their annual cultural festival, Bunkasai. Weinberg senior Yuki Zou, who planned the event, described Bunkasai as “a Japanese cultural festival where we plan many activities, invite performers and have free food. We try to educate and introduce people to our culture.” A steady stream of both students and community members entered the room, checking out the food and delighting in the activities.