The Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage and the Japan-Alaska Association hosted the annual Japanese Summer Festival on Saturday, August 5th. The event took place at the Lucy Cuddy Hall and quad on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. The festival was a great success thanks to the hard work and the patronage of the Anchorage community.
Consul Masatoshi Sato gave welcoming remarks in the opening ceremony. Other speakers included UAA Chancellor Samuel Gingrich; Mr. Shinya Takemoto, Assistant General Manager of Sumitomo Metal Mining; Ms. Rachel Bylsma, Director of Constituent Services at the Office of Senator Dan Sullivan; Mr. Grant Schultz from the Office of Congressman Don Young; Mrs. Deborah Morgan from the Office of Governor Bill Walker; Mrs. Amy Coffman from the Office of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz; Mr. Brandon Locke, representative of the Anchorage Sister Cities Commission; and Miss Alaska, Angelina Klapperich.
The Consular Office’s table provided information about Alaska and Japan’s sister cities, the JET program, and traveling to Japan. Visitors could write their wishes for the Star Festival, known as Tanabata. To celebrate Tanabata, people write their wishes on small colored pieces of paper called tanzaku and hang them on bamboo trees.
Activities included judo and kendo demonstrations, Japan trivia, and bon dancing. Food vendors provided delicious Japanese cuisine.