A Taste of Japan – The Sakura Club
“A Taste of Japan” The Sakura Club
18th April 2009
The Sakura Club held a Japanese event “A Taste of Japan” on Saturday 18th April at the Lancaster Hall Hotel. It was the 5th event held since we launched the Sakura Club June 2007 to express Japanese traditions and culture to the British public. We were fortunate to include a wonderful professional Japanese musicians group trained in traditional music who were visiting from Japan to perform for us.
The MC was Tomoko Harris and the stage manager was Mieko Davies who were both wearing beautiful kimonos.
Then next programme was the Tea Ceremony, again showing a DVD of a Tea Ceremony, which the Japanese Embassy had made for Western people, and at the same time Reiko Zacharias and some Sakura Club members performed a Tea Ceremony on the stage.
Chris, who is a teacher of Iaido, gave the next performance, in which he used a Japanese sword. He showed some Kata (Form in Japanese), which were different depending on how many opponents you are fighting against.
After his demonstration there was a time for questions. Many people were very interested in Iaido and there were a lot of questions put for Chris. One of questions was how to fight with four opponents at the same time, so he demonstrated how to fight with the first person, second, third and fourth. However he emphasized that the ideal of learning how to fight is knowing how NOT to fight! He has a Samurai spirit and a peaceful mind.
Then the days’ main programme, the Japanese musicians, came on the stage. They brought traditional instruments such as shamisen, taiko, tsuzumi and kane, which most western people have never seen before. The quality of music was really professional and everybody enjoyed the music and dancing.
Then finally our Sakura Choir came on the stage and sang a couple of songs. Following the songs we had refreshments including sushi and sandwiches.
There was an introduction to the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and it’s activities to promote ‘one family of humanity under God’. This cultural programme illustrated wonderful aspects of Japan.
Sakura club hope to do inter-cultural performances to spread understanding of Japan and other cultures jointly in future.