60th Annual Ginza Holiday Festival

  • 05:30 PM
  • Midwest Buddhist Temple, 435 West Menomonee Street, Chicago

The 60th Annual Ginza Holiday Festival, a large Japanese cultural festival, will be presented by the Midwest Buddhist Temple (MBT) on Aug. 7, 8 and 9 at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Chicago’s historic Old Town.

Flown in from Tokyo for this event, four master craftspersons (Waza) will demonstrate their generations-old skills creating unique crafts. The public will have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. Several other exhibits and booths will be filled with Japanese textiles, snacks, t-shirts, kimonos, artwork and jewelry.

An abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine will be offered, including the famous grilled Chicken Teriyaki dinner, udon (Japanese cold noodles), sushi, Spam musubi, edamame, grilled corn on the cob and Hawaiian shaved ice. For dessert, try the kintoki (Japanese snow cone topped with sweet azuki beans). Japanese beer will also be available.

Featured at the festival will be ongoing stage performances with the energetic taiko drumming by Ho Etsu Taiko and MBT Taiko; the MBT Minyo Group; Fujima Ryu of Chicago, a Japanese Classical dance troupe; and The Na Kupuna Ukulele group. Aikido and Judo schools will demonstrate self-defense tactics, while Kendo (Japanese fencing) will entertain the crowd.

Inside the temple, the exhibit hall will be filled with exhibits of bonsai, ikebana (flower arranging), calligraphy, brush painting and samurai swords.

Ginza expands into Saturday evening with Yoko Noge and her band, Japanesque. Yoko’s music can be described as a combination of Japanese ”Minyo” folk music with “Chicago blues.” Performed with an electric piano, shamisen, horn section, and Yoko’s sweet and growly blues vocals, she will warm the August night with her appearance at Ginza at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening.

The chapel will be open for visitors who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, Rev. Ron Miyamura will deliver short Dharma talks.

A benefit donation of $7 for adults, and $6 for students and senior citizens will be collected at the gate. Children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. A special 3-day pass will be available for $15. On Saturday evening, $12 will be charged after 7:00 for the Yoko Noge concert.

For more information, please visit us online at www.ginzachicago.com.