There will be a variety of performances taking place throughout the weekend. All performances take place in the Hall except where otherwise indicated. Enjoy the performances filled with Japanese culture!
Special guests from Japan!
SATURDAY 2–3PM, 8–9PM
Renowned shamisen artist Hiroshi Yamaguchi began his musical studies at age four with his father, Koji Yamaguchi. He first studied tsugaru shamisen under Katsuhiro Chiba and soon began winning national competitions. In 2001, he completed his graduate degree at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Yamaguchi has performed for various high-profile domestic audiences including the Imperial Prince of Japan, and has also enjoyed success abroad on tours throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.
SOUL SPLASH CREW
FROM FUKUOKA TO THE WORLD! Dance group Soul Splash Crew is active both in Japan and the US, where they’ve been performing regularly since 2004. Crowned Grand Champions at the 2008 Dance USA contest, in 2013 they were also recognized by the Nevada Governor for their role as cultural ambassadors. They aim to bring you top-notch entertainment with their uniquely Japanese style of jazz dance.
SATURDAY, September 5
晩香披 神輿の会 楽一
11AM–12PM (Opening Ceremony)
1–2PM (Mikoshi) in Garden
Rakuichi is known for their high-energy demonstrations of omikoshi at major festivals in Greater Vancouver, including the Canada Day Parade and Powell St Festival. They also perform Shishi Mai dance with Japanese instruments.
12:15–1PM in Garden
Sansho Daiko creates contemporary repertoire for the taiko, or Japanese drum. Incorporating western instruments and mask-work, they create a performance experience that transcends ethnic and cultural boundaries. Like the plant it was named after, Sansho seeks to be a spicy addition to the West Coast taiko scene.
2PM–3PM (with Hiroshi Yamaguchi)
Guitarist and songwriter Yujiro Nakajima began playing jazz and Brazilian music professionally in his twenties. He performs regularly at jazz clubs and festivals, and his band has performed at the Vancouver Jazz Festival every year since 2009. Last summer, he released the Nakajima Duo album featuring guitar and percussion.
CosCafé is the original pop-up cosplay and maid café serving Vancouver events since 2007! Sharing their love for JPop and anime with us at Nikkei Matsuri this year are performers Shu, Mew3, Lumi Sea, Noa, as well as dance group Odoru.
Led by Ruth Suzuki, the Sakura Singers was formed 45 years ago and was inaugurated into a Society in 2006. They welcome anyone with a passion for Japanese songs to join their group! For Nikkei Matsuri, they will be performing traditional songs to evoke memories of Japan.
Hula dance group Wailele Waiwai was formed in 2006 and currently boasts 60 members. Their name symbolizes endless growth, like a waterfall. Ten members will be performing original Hawaiian and Polynesian dances to express the rich history and narratives of Hawaii.
SUNDAY, September 6
11–11:30AM in Garden
Formed in 1993, Chibi Taiko aims to transmit the unique art of taiko drumming to the next generation. As the first children’s taiko ensemble in Canada, they emphasize cooperation, leadership, responsibility, and spirituality, in addition to the physical and musical discipline needed to build a cohesive and dynamic ensemble.
ISHIKAWA FAMILY JUDO CLUB
Although judo is a combat sport, the goal is not simply to defeat an opponent, but to train and become stronger rather. While at times dangerous, with techniques like throws and chokes, the aim is for judoka to help one another hone their skills while showing kindness and respect.
Shorinji Kempo is a discipline that focuses on training the mind and body. It is a traditional practice and offers several benefits to those who practice, including self-defense, spiritual development and improved health.
VANCOUVER SHOMONKAI AIKIDO
Aikido is a modern martial art based on Kenjutsu and Jujutsu. Also called the “Art of Peace” or “Moving Zen”, the goals of training are development of strength and mastery of personality. Vancouver Shomonkai Aikido’s mission is to use Aikido to foster wellness in youth and the larger society.
Satsuki-kai dance group was formed in May 2011 for members to study traditional Japanese dance under the tutelage of Master Kayo Nishikawa in a relaxed atmosphere. They perform at a number of diverse settings including senior homes and the Powell Street Festival.
KIMONO FASHION SHOW BY JIVE JIVE HAIR SALON
Jive Jive brings clients a relaxing salon experience, backed by 30 years of experience and the latest techniques from Japan. They also offer professional kimono dressing so you can look your best for special occasions! Owner Megumi Hasegawa joins us today to present a colourful kimono fashion show.
Kotonone Kai performs the koto at schools, nursing homes, and community events. They are currently recruiting new members to join their group!
RENBU DOJO KENDO
Kendo is a Japanese martial art based on samurai training using bamboo swords. It remains one of the purest of the martial arts and teaches the values of selflessness, courtesy and discipline. Kendo builds inner strength through training of the mind and body.
Shito-ryu Seiko-kai Canada has been practicing karate for 45 years, since the founding of its Vancouver branch in 1970. Besides teaching, they aim to encourage overall health and tackle social issues, especially bullying. Chairman Mert Horita Sensei and members enjoy practicing and exchanging with 25 branch dojos throughout the world.
VANCOUVER OKINAWA TAIKO
Vancouver Okinawa Taiko (formerly Yuaikai Ryukyu Taiko) has performed at numerous festivals and events for almost a decade. They aim to share Okinawan style drum-dancing and promote Okinawan culture. Members consist of a mix of several generations, which reflects a true presentation of grassroots folk art.
5–6PM (with Hiroshi Yamaguchi)
LA-based Kozue Matsumoto has played koto since she was 3 and is a certified Semi-Master. She also plays the shamisen and shinobue, and has performed throughout Japan and North America. Matsumoto has a strong interest in exploring the potential of traditional music and performing arts beyond conventional contexts.
ALCVIN RYUZEN RAMOS
アルスビン リュウゼン ラモス
5–6PM (with Hiroshi Yamaguchi)
Born and trained in Japan, Alcvin is one of the foremost teachers and performers of the shakuhachi bamboo flute in North America. He has taught and performed internationally and pursues an active solo and collaborative career. A composer and multi-instrumentalist, Ramos enjoys exploring new ways of playing traditional instruments.
Our 2014 Matsuri Star winner AC is back! Lucky & AC are part of the Freshh 2.0 dance crew that won gold at the 2014 Hip Hop World Championships. They’ve been featured in major magazines and have performed on the Ellen Show, in concert with Ariana Grande, and in the movie “Step Up All In.”