Japanese Cultural Festival 2015

Amb. Terada, Yvonne Wamalwa and Minister Mori during the cooking show
On 7th November 2015, the Japan Information & Culture Centre held the 9th Japanese Cultural Festival at its Embassy of Japan premises in Upper Hill. The cultural festival is an annual event which aims to provide valuable background information on Japanese culture and way of life to the members of the public. The 2015 festival was officially opened by H. E. Amb. Tatsushi Terada, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Kenya.
Chef Kobayashi demonstrating how to prepare and serve kazari maki zushi
Chef Kobayashi talking to Ms. Yvonne Wamalwa and Minister Mori
The main event of the festival was a cooking show by the Ambassador’s Chef, Mr. Kobayashi. The chef demonstrated to the audience how to prepare Kazari Makizushi or Decorative sushi roll. He then demonstrated Kazari Giri the Japanese style of cutting/decorating food items. The chef used carrots and cucumbers to demonstrate Kazari Giri. Traditional cuisine has decorations to make the dish more appealing. Following the show, the main guest, Ms. Yvonne Wamalwa, Deputy Director, Asia and Australasia Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, made her speech which reiterated the importance of such festivals as a way towards making the world a global village and also appealed to the members of the audience to also experience comparable cultural festivals hosted by different Kenyan communities.
Cheka Restaurant staff preparing for maki zushi and fish ball tasting.
Members of the audience enjoying maki zushi and fish ball.
Following the cooking show there was a lunch break where during the break those who attended the festival had an opportunity to taste maki zushi and fish ball prepared by Japanese owned Cheka Restaurant.
Ladies dressed in beautiful kimonos
Some of the visitors viewing the displayed dolls
In the afternoon session of the cultural festival, there were several activities which ran concurrently. At the main venue was a Kimono show where Kimono expert Ms. Kumagishi demonstrated how to wear a Kimono and some of the meanings attached to the attire. The audience then watched a modelling show of Kimonos which some of the Japanese women had worn. In another room, there was a dolls exhibition, where dolls such as: Hina ningyo (dolls for the girls’ festival); Hakata ningyo (hakata dolls); Kokeshi ningyo (traditional kokeshi dolls); Gogatsu ningyo (dolls for the boys’ festival); Noh ningyo (noh dolls); Kyo ningyo (dolls of kyoto); Oyama ningyo (dolls depicting young women) and Oshie hagoita (battledores with raised pictures), were displayed.
A Karate demonsration in progress
Other events taking place in different venues included, origami sessions where participants were taught to make various objects using a sheet of paper and traditional Japanese games including Daruma Otoshi and Kendama.

To sum up the main events of the day there was a martial arts demonstration session where participants had the opportunity to watch practitioners of karate under the guide of the Karate expert Master Tamura show off their skills. In addition to watching the demonstration, members of the audience also got to engage the Karate expert master Tamura on a question and answer session. Some of the questions put across was the essence of heavy breathing during Karate practice, the number of levels in Karate, comparisons between Karate and other martial arts and the number of people the master has trained in Kenya. All the questions were answered skillfully by the expert.