Japan Week 2020 at Bellevue College

From September 28 to October 3, Bellevue College held their fourth annual and first ever virtual Japan Week festival, with support from the Consulate General of Japan in Seattle.   As the event was accessible to visitors throughout its duration regardless of time zones or restrictions of a pre-set schedule, 3,300 visitors from over 46 countries were able to access the wide variety of virtual programing during the week-long event.

Although there were two live workshops, the majority of contents were pre-recorded and included a greeting by Consul General Inagaki.  More than 25 different organizations shared performances, demonstrations, stories, and tutorials in 15 different Japan-related categories, which were all accessed through an interactive “topic tiles” on the Japan Week site.  Drawing from the extensive video library of programs produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, over 80 Japan Video Topics segments were included, which featured topics such as science and technology, fashion, food, traditional as well as pop culture, martial arts and more. NHK World also contributed programs from their Videos on Demand streaming service and two films.

To connect directly with visitors, Japan Week organizers featured four contests, which invited participants to share videos of their kendama skills, recipes and photos of green tea-themed creations, and cosplay attire.  There was also a quiz contest offered in English and Japanese. 
The organizers of Japan Week hope that they will be able to return to an in-person event to celebrate their fifth anniversary in 2021, but until then, a lot of their programming from this year will remain accessible, and visitors are welcome to explore their website to learn more about Japan: https://studentweb.bellevuecollege.edu/japan-week/
Consul General INAGAKI Hisao gives a warm pre-recorded greeting to Japan Week attendees. This special edition of Japan Week’s Daruma mascot was created for this year’s event.
One of over eighty “Japan Video Topics” segments included this year to showcase Japanese culture. Ikebana International, Ch.19 shared photos. Arrangement by Akemi Sagawa, Sogetsu School.
Kendama champions and Bellevue College alumni Nick and Zack Gallagher made a special video. Rio Tsunoda’s “Cream Puffs and Matcha Ice Cream” won first place in the recipe contest.