Monday, March 25, 2013

Japanese festivals at CMU, Pitt on March 29 and 30.

CMU Matsuri

This weekend there will be two Japanese festivals at Oakland's two largest universities. On Friday, March 29, the Japanese Student Association at CMU presents Matsuri (festival) from 4:30 to 9:30 pm at the CMU University Center and Merson Courtyard (campus map). The event's website says:
We wanted to share a snippet of this eventful festival here in Pittsburgh, right on CMU campus. Come by to try a taste of Japanese street food, play with some traditional arcade games and enjoy a range of performances from Japanese Taiko Drumming and a traditional Koto performance to Japanese Pop and Rock Fusion of Contemporary Japanese Music.

We have put in a lot of effort into authenticity; we purchase things online and ship them from Japan. We hand craft our booths to make it look like what you see on the streets in Japan. Enjoy the event to its fullest by paying attention to the details we've put in!
Food and games at the festival require tickets, which you can pre-order online. All of the profits made will be donated to Minato Middle School, which was completely destroyed by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

JSA Cherry Blossom Festival

On March 30 at the University of Pittsburgh is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, put on by the Japanese Culture Association. To plagiarize the Facebook event page:
We're extremely excited for this year's festival which has the potential to be one of the best yet!

With performances from:

-Pitt Taiko
- and Japanese Sword demonstrations from Loren Keifer

That's not all, we'll have all sorts of fun booths set up, including:

-Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) from JASP
-Japanese Tea with Amy Svoboda
-Kimono Fashion with Evan Mason
-Video Games

And of course we'll have copious amounts of delicious Japanese street cuisine, such as; takoyaki, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, taiyaki, onigiri, and mochi.
It will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 at the William Pitt Union Ballroom.

To see cherry blossoms in Pittsburgh you'll have to wait another week or two. On April 6 is the Pittsburgh Sakura Project's Spring Planting Festival, and both Philadelphia and Washington D.C. (two cities close enough for a weekend trip) are holding their large cherry blossom festivals throughout April.