Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yume Wo Katare CD release May 19th / Rion & Shingo

My friend Atsushi Tanimura's production company, A2C Productions, will be releasing the official Yume Wo Katare CD at the Japan Festival in Boston on Sunday, May 19th. Stop by their booth (location F5, download event guide with map) to buy a copy! Rion Takada (vocals, acoustic guitar) will be here from Japan to promote the CD and he'll be performing at at the festival 2:55pm. Yume Wo Katare fans may notice that all song titles share the same name as Tsuyoshi-san's previous restaurants.

Yume Wo Katare will be also be at the festival (location A5) serving maze soba.

Update 6:30pm: I randomly ran into Atsushi in Porter Square this afternoon and became the first person to buy the Yume Wo Katare CD! I love that the CD is a bowl of ramen.

A2C is also releasing Shingo Hirashima's album Into the Blue, his first album to be released in the U.S. Shingo will perform right after Rion at 3:25pm.

If you can't make it to the Japan Festival, Rion & Shingo will be performing three shows at A2C Productions in Allston. CDs will be on sale at the shows!

Date & Time
May 20, 21, 22, 2013
8 - 10 pm


Free! Donations welcome.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Boston Bites Back: One Night. One City. One Fund

The awesome Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon (and the Massachusetts food allergy bill, Bill 2701) and Ken Oringer of uni have organized an incredible fundraising event for The One Fund, Boston's official fund for marathon bombing victims. One hundred Boston chefs will cook for guests at Fenway Park next Wednesday, May 15th. 

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience,” said Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger & Blue Dragon. “This event is an occasion for Bostonians to reconnect over food, mingle with chefs and honor our city’s inspiring resilience. It’s an opportunity for Bostonians to literally ‘bite’ back.”

In addition to Oringer, chefs from three other Japanese and Japanese fusion restaurants will be cooking.

I wish I could afford to go. Tickets for general admission are $206 ($200 + $6 fee) and VIP tickets are $1,030 ($1,000 + $30 fee). Their goal is to raise $1m. Looks like they have a long way to go. I hope they'll make it! Please help spread the word.

See also: Life After 4/15

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

2013 Japan Festival in Boston @ Government Center

Last updated: 5/15/13

Thanks to the craziness overwhelming success of last year's Haru Matsuri, the organizers decided to do it again, but this time at City Hall Plaza. The event has been rebranded as the Japan Festival in Boston. They're expecting 20,000 people this year (last year was estimated to be around 13,000). They've expanded to ~34 food booths and ~80 non-food boothsI'm hoping that they'll have worked out the issues they had with the food last year and that I'll actually be able to eat this time! Update 5/15/13: I'm told that they have worked out the food issues and will not be using tickets this year.

This is the fourth and largest of four local Japanese festivals in May that I'm aware of.

Date & Time
Sunday, May 19, 2013
10am - 6pm
Hopefully it won't rain, as there is no rain date.


Free, but there will be food and stuff available for purchase. Bring small bills!

I'll be there with Tewassa. We'll be selling t-shirts ($20) and tote bags ($12) which say 手仕事 (teshigoto, which means "handwork"), omen for kids (Japanese masks), assorted bento & Japanese stationery items (erasers & letter sets), origami crane decorations, and hand-crocheted heart-shaped tawashi to keep our group running. Stop by our booth and say hi!

Teshigoto tote bag - $12

Tewassa tawashi - $3 each

See also:
Yume Wo Katare CD release May 19th / Rion & Shingo

Brookline Sakura Matsuri: Genki Style @ Brookline High School

This is the second annual Brookline Sakura Matsuri. See photos from last year. This is the third of four local Japanese festivals in May that I'm aware of.

Co-sponsored by the Japanese Program at Brookline High School and The Genki Spark. The Genki Spark are awesome. You should go see them!

In collaboration with Brookline Asian American Family Network, Showa Boston, Brookline Commission for the Arts, New England Japanese American Citizens League, and Amos A. Lawrence School, and William H. Lincoln School.

Update 5/6/13: I'll be volunteering with the JACL from 2-3pm, so stop by and say hi!

Date & Time
Saturday, May 11, 2013
noon - 3pm

Brookline High School Quadrangle (Rain Location: BHS Cafeteria)
115 Greenough Street, Brookline, MA, 02445

Suggested Donation
$5 - $10

Featuring: The Genki Spark, Rutsubo Taiko, Boston Miyake Taiko, Odaiko New England, and Japanese singers: Mami and Osamu Matsumora

Enjoy: Japanese music, bon odori dance (Japanese festival dancing), crafts, games, food for sale, and taiko drumming

Games: Chop Stick Contest, Yo-Yo Fishing Game, Make Your Own Buttons and Hachi Maki, Origami, Know your Japanese American lingo/history, Yukata/Kosupure Booth, Grains of Rice Challenge

Japan Festival 2013 @ Kaji Aso Studio

A friend brought this event to my attention. It's the second of four local Japanese festivals in May that I'm aware of.

Date & Time
Sunday, May 5, 2013
2 - 7pm


Students & Seniors $8
Everyone else $10

2:00 - 2:45 Tea Ceremony Demonstration, Kate Finnegan with Jennifer Yeo
3:00 - 3:30 Handbuilt Tea Bowl Demonstration by Jay Hanes, Edinboro University
3:40 - 4:20 Demonstration of Calligraphy, Michiko Imai
4:30 - 5:00 Kaji Aso Studio International Haiku Contest Awards
   Supported in part by the Consulate General of Japan in Boston.
5:15 - 6:00 Traditional Music: Koto and Shamisen, Sumie Kaneko

Ongoing events:
* Tours of Tea House
* Exhibition of Calligraphy and Sumi Painting
* Ceramics and Gift Items- Priced Individually
* Japanese Sweet Snacks á la carte – from $5 and up

Questions and Information

Arlington Sakura Matsuri @ Ottoson Middle School

I found this matsuri (festival) on The Genki Spark's webpage. I wasn't aware that Arlington had a Japanese sister city! This is the first of four local Japanese festivals in May that I'm aware of. Other matsuris this month:

Learn more about the Japanese culture, the Arlington exchange program with our Sister City, Nagaokakyo, Japan, enjoy listening to Japanese songs and watch the taiko performers and traditional Japanese dancers, make origami or try your hand at the calligraphy or kendama.

Date & Time
Friday, May 3, 2013 


$10/Family, $5/Individual
All proceeds go to the enrichment of The Arlington Nagaokakyo Student Exchange Program.

Hosted By
Arlington Nagaokakyo Sister City exchange