18th Annual Eastside Nihon Matsuri (Aki Matsuri)

The 18th Annual Aki Matsuri was held on September 12 and 13 at Bellevue College.

Various Japan-related organizations introduced Japanese culture to an enthusiastic crowd, including tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy, martial arts, taiko, Japanese dance, and kimono through demonstrations, lectures, performances, and booth exhibits.

This year’s Aki Matsuri featured a wagasa factory–Sakaida-Honten from Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan–which exhibited their artwork and interacted with Matsuri attendees. Also featured were booths from local Japanese businesses and Kenjinkai associations.

Taiko Performance on Stage 

Kingyo Sukui Goldfish Game


Wagasa Booth

Kenjinkai Booth


MRJ Booth 

HBCC Booth

  The Consulate-General of Japan, a co-sponsor, had a booth where we distributed various informational materials, including Niponica magazine, which introduces the splendor of Japan’s culture, and pamphlets promoting all the ways Japan is open for travel and business. As at last year’s Aki Matsuri and this year’s Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival, the “haiku tree” was set up for visitors to compose their original haiku for display; Japan’s latest technology was introduced through “Paro” the therapeutic robot; and the DVD “Discover the Spirit of Japan” was shown. In appreciation of his years of service to the festival, ENMA President Tom Brooke was given a Certificate of Commendation by the Consul General.

Consulate Booth

ENMA President Tom Brooke awarded Certificate of Commendation

 In two days, over 23,000 visitors attended the festival and enjoyed great opportunities to gain further understanding of Japan.