Preparations underway for autumn festival

Japan Matsuri - Saturday 6 October 2012
Trafalgar Square, London

Free admission


Members of the Japanese community and friends of Japan in Britain have been working hard together ahead of the 4th Japan Matsuri, which this year will take place on Saturday 6th October. The festival will be held in Trafalgar Square for the first time and promises to be a great celebration of Japanese culture, community and friendship with the UK.

Japan Matsuri is organised by Japan Association (JA), The Japan Society, Nippon Club, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), and is supported by the Embassy of Japan in London. At the heart, it is very much a community project and it aims to bring friends and neighbours of all nationalities together in celebration in the same way as local festivals in Japan. The festival will be opened by Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi with the ceremonial cracking of a sake barrel.

A particular feature of this year's Japan Matsuri is rajio taisou - a series of broadcast excercises that most Japanese people have grown up with. It is usually performed in the morning, at school, work or in the local community. Throughout the day at Japan Matsuri, a group from Japan will give several demostrations of rajio taisou. People will be able to join in with the demonstrations on the main stage at different times during the day.

The main stage will also host a rolling programme of music and dance, with folk performance arts, taiko drumming and performances from children from the Japanese school.
There will also be a martial arts stage with demonstrations for a wide range of martial arts groups, including children's kendo. A full list of demonstrations and timings will be available on the Japan Matsuri website nearer the time. Do please keep checking the website.

A wide variety of stalls will be set up around the square, serving hot and cold food, and selling Japanese gifts and crafts. There are a variety of activities for all the family - why not try your hand at origami or create a Japanese cartoon character on the manga wall? Japan Matsuri also features NODOJIMAN: The J-Factor, a Japanese singing competition which is open to the public (although contestants must register in advance), for which the best singer (or group) will win a top prize! Check the website for more details on how to apply.

Japan Matsuri 2012 begins at 11am and continues throughout the day until 9pm. Admission is free.