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Maui Matsuri 2015: Don’t Miss It!

MM festival FOR WEB

    The Maui Matsuri is a 3-day event that is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating Japanese culture on Maui. “Matsuri” means “Japanese festival,” and the Maui Matsuri incorporates some of the most notable cultural exhibits, educational activities, entertainment and food in order to bring the community together to celebrate Japanese-American history, heritage and culture on Maui. The event is produced for the public by a volunteer team, and admission is free.
    The official theme of this year’s festival is “on” or debt of gratitude to others. An artistic rendering of the “on” theme is depicted below, which will be the official design on this year’s festival t-shirt. The artwork was designed by Artist Jonathan Yukio Clark. He chose to include the crane in his design, as it is prominently featured in the Japanese story “Tsuru No Onagaeshi,” which tells of a crane weaving cloth from its own feathers as a way to show its gratitude to a man who rescued it.

Maui Matsuri 2015 design

    The 2015 Maui Matsuri festivities will begin on Friday, May 8 for the kickoff event, featuring karate, taiko, bon odori (bon dance) practice, coloring contest, appearance by Hello Kitty, and more from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall center stage. The kickoff event is sponsored in part by Araki-Regan & Associates, LLC.

Hello Kitty FOR WEB

    The festivities continue the following weekend. On Friday, May 15, there will be a movie night from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College student center (Pilina Building). This year for movie night, Kikaida キカイダー the superhero is back! Join us for the Maui premier of the full-length feature film “Kikaider Reboot” that will feature the Maui on-screen debut of the superhero along with his friends and arch-rivals with modern sci-fi action and visual effects. “Kikaider Reboot” is 110 minutes, not rated, and subtitled in English. The movie is distributed by JN Productions, Inc. and brought to you in part by Seki’s Machine Works. Check out the official trailer below!

    On Saturday, May 16 will be the 15th Annual Maui Matsuri festival from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College main courtyard, presented by the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui. Thousands of people attend the festival each year, because it is simply THAT good! And we couldn’t do it without our major supporters and sponsors: County of Maui, Hawaii Tourism Authority, IBEW – Local Union 1186, Island Honda, Maui Taiko and UH – Maui College.

Here are my top 5 reasons not to miss this year’s festival:

      • YUMMY FOOD! Yes, really yummy local Japanese food. Just imagine starting off with a delicious musubi, followed by a mouthwatering bento and some of the best chow fun on the island, and then savoring a taste of some nishime, curry stew, and edamame rice. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert: andagi, shave ice and Uncle Lani’s famous poi mochi. Where else can you enjoy all of these delectable dishes conveniently in one place? At the Maui Matsuri!

Bento FOR WEB1

      • LIVE ENTERTAINMENT, DEMONSTRATIONS & DANCING! From taiko to bon dancing (Japanese group dancing), this is one festival attraction you don’t want to miss! You will be awed by performances of Edo Kotobuki Jishi (traditional lion dance from Old Tokyo) by Oahu special guest Kenny Endo and the Taiko Center of the Pacific. Endo is a leading artist in contemporary percussion and rhythm. Endo was even recorded in motion capture suit and featured in the movie “Avatar” as well as in soundtracks for films such as “Picture Bride” and “Apocolypse Now.” You can catch him and his group at the entertainment stage at 4:30 p.m. Then, head over to the demonstration area at 4:50 p.m. to check out the Maui Karate Association, as they thrill the crowd with their skills and mastery of karate. Hold on… during all the excitement, did you miss Kenny Endo and his group perform? No problem! They will be doing an encore of their performance at the entertainment stage again at 6:30 p.m. Then, wind down the night by joining the crowd for a little bon dancing around 7:30 p.m.

Lion Dance FOR WEB

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      • EXCITING CONTESTS! Enter our contests… or just watch other people compete for prizes and bragging rights in this year’s contests! This year we will have the following contests: eating (natto and saimin), hanafuda/sakura (Japanese card game), cosplay (costume), video-gaming, and manga (Japanese comic cartoon or anime) and art drawing.

Natto FOR WEB

      • MANY WAYS TO KEEP YOUR KIDS OCCUPIED! If you are looking for fun for the entire family, this is the right place! The kids will enjoy a variety of activities, while the adults can join in the fun or simply take a moment to relax while enjoying a cup of refreshing shave ice. You will be happy to hear that we are providing something NEW to entertain your kids this year: kids games! Purchase scrips, so your kids can play games and win prizes! We are also continuing to offer the Kodomo (Children’s) Corner with free arts and crafts.
      • AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUY LOCAL & SUPPORT LOCAL! Meet local artists, crafters and vendors, and cultural exhibitors, many of whom represent local businesses and feature Made in Maui or Made in Hawaii products. Buy some really neat products, or stop by a cultural exhibit table where you can partake in activities such as: arranging your own floral, take-home souvenir using what is found in nature.
            For more information on the Maui Matsuri, please visit our website: www.mauimatsuri.com. We are also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and the official hashtag for the event is #mauimatsuri. There will be 2 Instagram contests this year, and the winners will receive free festival t-shirts, so please be sure to like/follow Maui Matsuri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all the contest announcements.
            Kashiko (sincerely yours),
            Traci Giordano Silva

Silva Gang

              About the Guest Blogger: Traci Giordano Silva is a freelance graphic artist, writer & social media strategist. She is the director of public relations, marketing & social media for: Fukumoto Engineering, Maui Matsuri, Soroptimist International of Maui & Soroptimist Founder Region. Silva is also a blogger & the creator of “Life on a Silva Platter,” a whimsical blog focused on finding humor in life’s quirks. She lives on Maui with her husband Mike & their “kids” (pet cats & dogs). She loves making new friends in her many adventures & enjoys giving back to the community.

Maui Matsuri 2014: A Festival You Don’t Want to Miss

Are you ready for the 14th Annual Maui Matsuri festival?

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ve already started working on a festival checklist, and the event is still a few weeks away!

  1. Charge camera phone for selfies & photo ops with Hello Kitty.
  2. Wear stretchy pants to accommodate food consumption.
  3. Go to the ATM for some spending money.
  4. Get pumped up & work up an appetite (refer back to “wear stretchy pants”).
  5. Bring reusable grocery bags for omiyage (gifts) & take-out food.
  6. Write a blog post about the festival. Check!

Maui Matsuri

“Matsuri” means “Japanese festival,” and the Maui Matsuri incorporates some of the most notable cultural exhibits, educational activities, entertainment and food in order to bring the community together to celebrate Japanese American history, heritage and culture on Maui. The event is produced for the public by a volunteer team, and admission is free.

The official theme of the festival is “kodomo no tame ni” or “for the sake of the children.” Each year, the popularity of Maui Matsuri grows, and there are thousands of people in attendance. Proceeds of the event go to the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to support the work they do to preserve and perpetuate Japanese culture on Maui.

Maui Matsuri

The 2014 Maui Matsuri festivities will begin on Friday, May 2 for the kickoff event, featuring karaoke, taiko, kendama, obon odori (bon dance) practice, and more from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall center stage.

The festivities continue the following weekend on Friday, May 9 with a storytelling night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College student center (Pilina Building) in Kahului, followed by the actual Maui Matsuri festival on Saturday, May 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College great lawn or courtyard.

This is the first year that Maui Matsuri is introducing the storytelling night on Friday, May 9, and it will feature fables and stories from Hawaii and Japan, including obake (ghost) stories. One of the performers for this event will be Maui’s own “Tita,” radio personality, actress and emcee, Kathy Collins.

Here is a sneak peak into this year’s festival on Saturday, May 10:

  • Onolicious grinds (delicious food). What can be better than being able to savor fresh and tasty poke bowls, bento, abalone, teriyaki, chow fun, poi mochi and shave ice conveniently in one place? You only have to walk a few steps to get to all of these amazing food booths instead of driving all over town.

Maui Matsuri

  • Contests gallore. Maui Matsuri will have the following contests: eating (natto and saimin), hanafuda/sakura (Japanese card game), Cosplay (costume), video-gaming, kendama, and Manga (Japanese comic cartoon or anime) and art drawing. If you are competitive at heart, want to have fun with your friends, or just love to people-watch as others compete for prizes and bragging rights, this part of the festival is definitely for you.
  • Live entertainment and demonstrations. From taiko (Japanese drumming) and karate demonstrations, to Japanese singers like Hikariyama Torao, A.K.A. Tevita Apina (who also just won the karaoke contest at Kawaii Kon, by the way… wow!) and the group Bento Rakugo from Oahu that specializes in magic shows and variety acts. Bento Rakugo also tells obake (ghost) stories and will be performing on Friday, May 9 for the storytelling night.

Maui Matsuri

  • Kodomo (kids) corner. If you are looking for fun for the entire family, this is the place to be! The kids will enjoy a variety of activities, while the adults join in the fun, snap a few pictures, or simply take a moment to savor their chow fun and poi mochi. Some of the activities at this year’s festival include: make your own hachimaki (Japanese headband), gyotaku (fish printing & painting), and Japanese food games such as a colorful dango (rice dumpling) stacking game and takoyaki flipping.
  • Cultural exhibits. Bonsai, Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) Sangetsu flower arranging, Maui Ki-Aikido martial arts, Consulate General of Japan, and the art of calligraphy are just some of the many exhibits you can visit at this year’s festival.
  • Craft booths. Buy local. Support local. Meet local artists, crafters and vendors, many of whom feature Made in Maui or Made in Hawaii products.
  • Obon odori or bon dance (Japanese group dancing). Kickoff the Maui obon season with obon odori on the great lawn. Follow along and join in the dancing dressed as you are. No kimono or happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coat? No problem! T-shirts and rubba slippas welcome.

Maui Matsuri

Arigato (thanks) for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the festival! As the P.R., Marketing & Social Media Chair for Maui Matsuri, I’m sure you will see me there. Look for the gal running around, taking photos, and posting about the event with the rest of our social media team. The other members of our social media team include: Brian Nagami, Jody Yoshida, Sherman Peros, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Kay Fukumoto. If you know any of them, please feel free to say “hi” and stop them for a photo op!

The festival website is www.mauimatsuri.com, and the official hashtag for the event is #MauiMatsuri. There will be 2 Instagram contests this year, and the winners will receive free festival t-shirts, so be sure to like/follow Maui Matsuri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all the contest announcements.

Kashiko (sincerely yours),

Traci Giordano Silva

Silva GangAbout the Guest Blogger: Traci Giordano Silva is a freelance designer & writer at Miso Creative; partner & marketing specialist at Fukumoto Engineering (FE); PR, marketing & social media chair for Soroptimist Maui & the Maui Matsuri; & blogger & creator of “Life on a Silva Platter,” a whimsical blog focused on finding humor in life’s quirks. She lives on Maui with her hubby Mike & their “kids” (pet cats & dogs). She blogs for fun, loves making new friends in the blogosphere, & enjoys giving back to the community. Blog: www.silvagang.com. Twitter & Instagram: @SilvaGang

 

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