Turning Japanese

photo-64This weekend (September 5-7, 2014) Mineral Point will be turning Japanese with its first Japanese cultural Festival.  It’s called Matsuri – the Japanese word for festival.  In typical Mineral Point fashion, an eclectic group of individuals got together and decided to create a celebration of Japanese culture. We already host the Cradle of American Haiku Festival, and we have a popular Japanese restaurant, so why not take it a step further?

Weekend highlights include:

Classes — sushi making, Sumi e (ink painting), and Shibori (Japanese tie dying). You can register for these classes on the Shake Rag Alley website.

photo-65Children’s Activities — free, drop in kids activities at the Shake Rag Quonset hut. These include kite making, origami puppets, storytelling, haiku and games.

Free movie at the Opera House — Friday night at 7:00 p.m., the Mineral Point Library is hosting a screening of a film by a famous Japanese director.   For more information, like the name of the film (the Library movie license prohibits us from naming the film) you can call the Library at 608-987-2447.

Kabuki — Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., David Furomoto, well-known Kabuki performer and University of Wisconsin professor of theater arts, will perform a Kabuki demonstration at Alley Stage.   Here’s a clip of him in action.

photo-63Art Exhibits — Many of the galleries in towns will be featuring Japanese art and demonstrations.  Look for the Welcome signs.

A number of community partners have made this festival possible, including: Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, Foundry Books, Kusaka, The Longbranch Gallery, Bruce Howdle Studios, Bottleworks, Wantoot, Johnston Galleries, UW Madison Department of East Asia Studies, and the Mineral Point Public Library. Funding was provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board and the United Funds of Iowa County.

A full schedule of events can be found at www.shakeragalley.com.

あなたミネラルポイントでこの週末を見たいと思っています。(Translation – We hope to see you  in Mineral Point this weekend.)


– Contributed by the Hays

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