[Event Report] Japan Fair 2021

On June 26, after a year’s absence, Japan Fair returned as an online extravaganza celebrating Japanese culture. The event simultaneously coordinated contents of three different programs, which included a Live Streaming program on YouTube, Japan Fair’s Video Channel, and live Zoom Sessions. The program opened with greetings from Japan Fair Board members Yuka Shimizu and Allen Nakamoto and local dignitaries.

【Opening remarks from co-hosts Yuka Shimizu and Allen Nakamoto】

【Welcome messages from Consul General Inagaki, Representative Santos, and Mayor Robinson】
Event MC Angie Tomo Hoku kept viewers entertained and engaged during the six-hour live-streamed program with quick costume changes, frequent announcements of program schedules for both the Video Channel, and Zoom Sessions, as well as introductions to slideshows featuring contest entries throughout the day. In addition, a series of live interviews were also featured almost every 30 minutes on the Live Streaming program featuring local personalities and guests joining from as far as Italy and Japan. To see all the interviews and the entire live-streamed program, visit Japan Fair’s Live Streaming Program

【Some of the many faces MC Angie Tomo Hoku presented with her wide array of costumes】

【Interview with Opera Singer Yasuko Sato live from Italy】 【Interview and quick lesson with Kendama master Tatsuna Nishina live from Japan】
Taking the place of booths, which guests would normally visit at Japan Fair, this year 41 pre-recorded cultural, entertaining, and educational videos were premiered at timed intervals for viewers to enjoy. All of these videos are available on the Japan Fair Video Channel.

The Japan Fair organizers had many ways for people to participate despite it not being an in-person event. The virtual nature of this year’s event allowed for many people to join from around the world. The Haiku Contest had the best response with over 480 submissions from 33 countries. The Kimono Photo Gallery also proved popular with over 100 photos from across the country and overseas. The Cosplay Show had 25 photos and videos featuring amazing costumes from some very creative and talented participants. Submissions to all three contests as well as the judging results for each group can be viewed here.

【Winning haiku entries in English and Japanese】

【One of the Japan Fair Award winners for the Kimono Photo Gallery】

【Award recipients for the Cosplay Show which was presented in partnership with Sakura-Con】
Opportunities for real-time participation at Japan Fair were offered through posting comments on the Live Streaming channel and joining any or all 10 of the free Zoom seminars and workshops featuring topics ranging from a puppet show, to fine chocolates, to tea and coffee brewing techniques, to computer programming, and more. Some of these programs are available for viewing on Japan Fair’s Zoom Seminars site.

【Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Zoom session presented by JET Program alumni 】

The Japan Fair Committee is looking forward to an in-person event next year, but until then, feel free to visit the Virtual Japan Fair 2021 site to watch anything you may have missed.