2011 SEJSCC Matsuri

Every year, usually over the last full weekend of July, the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center holds its summer matsuri (cultural festival). This year it will be held July 23 and 24.

Most of the groups at the Center participate in the matsuri, for example by putting on a demonstration or exhibition, operating a game booth, or selling food. Norwalk Kendo Dojo does all three!

  • teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, and yakisoba booth
  • goldfish toss booth (ping pong balls in fish bowl)
  • kendo demonstration Saturday
We need everyone's help at this time: kenshi, parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. See the carnival page for details.

In addition, the Center invites everyone to participate in the following activities.

Ondo (Japanese folk music) has been a part of the summer matsuri ever since its inception.
  • A variety of folk dances are performed, some utilizing fans, tenugui, wooden clappers, or other implements.
  • Classes are held every Monday and Thursday in July prior to the matsuri, from 7:30pm. This year the first class will be held on Tuesday July 5th, since July 4th is a Monday.
  • When attending Monday keiko during July, do not park in the front parking lot near the ondo circle, and be careful of the ondo participants, especially small children.
  • Performers typically wear kimono or happi coats, but people in street clothes are also encouraged to spontaneously join in during the performance.
  • The idea is to not to be embarassed about lack of skill, nor be too prideful, but just to have fun and enjoy it.
Soran Bushi
Soran bushi, a folk song from Hokkaido (the northernmost island in Japan), is relatively new to the summer matsuri.
  • The traditional version is somewhat slow.
  • In the 1980's, a PE teacher reinvented it and gave it a faster, more exciting beat.
  • Many renditions of this faster soran bushi now exist, for example this version and this version, and it is has even been used in Japanese serials like Kinpachi sensei.
  • The Norwalk version, developed by Julie Koga of the Hikari Taiko group, is specifically designed to allow a wide range of participation, from young people to senior citizens, each according to their physical ability.
  • Julie conducted two one-hour training sessions after kendo practice on Monday June 27 and July 18. A good time was had by all who attended these sessions.
  • Thank you to the brave souls (Makino Kentaro, Yoon Brian, Kodama Jean, Domen Sumi, Yoshimura Steve, Toh Shauna, Yoon Courtney, Hahn Danielle, and Lee Anna) who performed on Saturday at the matsuri in keikogi and hakama! It was awesome that kendo had its own row in the performance.

©2011. Norwalk Kendo Dojo. Everything within these pages are property of Norwalk Kendo Dojo and may not be used without written permission.