【Cultural Event】Second Annual Nashville Japan Weeks

The Second Annual Nashville Japan Week is back, this time with a two-week period leading up to the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. Japan Week is full of events celebrating Japanese traditional and pop culture as well as the Japan-U.S. relationship.   We look forward to seeing you there!   
March 30 – April 1
  • Middle Tennessee Anime Convention
MTAC is Tennessee's largest fan-run convention, focusing on Anime, Manga & relevant Popular Arts.
April 3
  • Tuesdays for Tots
Art and garden adventures abound as toddlers take over Cheekwood every Tuesday morning! Join us to get hands on with art and gardens with your tot. Budding artists and botanists will be introduced to the Japanese ‘koi nobori’ kites and will be able to make their own!
April 5
  • Flowers in Japanese Society
  • Time: 5:30 – 6:30
  • Venue: Austin Peay State University, University Center Room 308
Enjoy a talk on the significance of different types of flowers in Japanese society and learn how to make origami cherry blossoms at this Austin Peay State University event!
April 7
  • Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest
  • Time: 12:00 - 4:20
  • Venue: Vanderbilt University
The Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest invites university students from Tennessee-area schools to show off their Japanese language skills through short speeches. Open to the public excluding children under 12.
April 8
  • Introduction to Japanese Scripts: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji and Japanese Calligraphy
During this event participants will be introduced to the three writing systems of the Japanese language (1st hour): the history of the scripts, how they are used and for what purpose, and how to distinguish them from each other and other scripts (e.g. Chinese, Korean). The second hour will focus on Japanese calligraphy. Participants will receive brief training on stroke order and meaning of some common characters and will create some calligraphy art on their own.
April 9
  • Second Annual Ramen Showdown
Chefs from Otaku Ramen and Two Ten Jack will be serving up 250 bowls of specialty ramen in celebration of Nashville Sister Cities' partnership with Kamakura.
April 10
  • Sakura: Celebrating Cherry Blossoms
  • Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
  • Venue: Belmont University, Bunch Multimedia Hall, Lila D. Bunch Library (2nd floor)
The Cherry Blossom, or sakura, has been celebrated in Japanese culture for centuries.  This event features two speakers, Rebecca Closner the President of the Music City JETAA, and Nozomi Takasu, a Belmont University Alumna, singer, and artist, who will talk about their experiences participating in Hanami or the Sakura viewing parties in Japan.  Nozomi will be performing the traditional Japanese song "Sakura" after her talk. The speakers will be introduced by Dr. Cynthia Bisson of the Belmont University History Department.  The talk will be followed by a reception.
April 11
Enjoy a Japanese lunch while enjoying four presentations given in English and Japanese. Brian Oxley will speak on Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who was awarded the highest award from Israel for saving the lives of many Jews from the Nazis in WWII, Martin Bennett, author of “Wounded Tiger,” will speak on Mitsuo Fuchida, a Japanese pilot who led the air raid attack on Pearl Harbor and later became a spokesman for peace, Stephen Young will speak on Kanzo Uchimura, a Japanese educator and Christian anti-war spokesman who started the non-church movement in Japan, and Tim Boyle will share stories about the history behind some of Japan’s kanji, or Chinese characters.
  • JET Program Alumni Association Happy Hour
Join JET Program alumni and other young professionals interested in Japan to network over drinks and good food!
April 13
  • Sake & Sushi Academy
Participants can enjoy samples of Proper sake while learning how to properly make sushi, including lessons on the basic ingredients, how to make sushi rice, and how to roll sushi. Students will learn all they need to start making sushi at home!
Kumi Alderman, head of Sushi Academy, is the Executive Director of the Knox Asian Festival, taking place August 26th, 2018 at Market Square in downtown Knoxville. Kumi has a passion to educate and share Asian culture through organizing the Asian Festival and other educational activities. She believes the festival inspires the public, especially younger generations, to learn about and appreciate the richness of traditional Asian arts and culture. She has also been teaching how to make sushi for 4 years. Currently she teaches at the University of Tennessee.
Byron Stithem of Proper Sake is a multi-discipline culinarian with an eclectic collection of experience. His career has been built around an understanding of culinary science and fermentation, with time spent at establishments like Dinner Lab, Husk Nashville, and The Clover Club to name a few.  In 2016, he undertook the unique challenge of starting an American Saké brewery in Nashville where he counts many local and global luminaries as investors and satisfied saké drinkers.  Proper Sake's aim is to showcase techniques and profiles from sake's old world while looking to the future for inspiration and innovation.
April 14

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