Japanese Summer Festival at Anderson Gardens Aug. 25

Staff Report

Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens invites you to its Japanese Summer Festival, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at the gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road.

The Japanese Summer Festival is a one-day cultural event that features exhibits, traditional demonstrations and unique performances that are appealing to all age groups. Other events will be ongoing throughout the day. Cost is free to garden members and regular garden admission for non-members.

Taiko Drum performances are scheduled at 11 a.m., 12:15 and 1:20 p.m. in the Event Pavilion. Guests should gather on the lawn facing the Pavilion.

Candyman performances will take place in the outdoor area between the main gate and the Guest House at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m., 12:45 and 2:45 p.m. The Candyman is a traditional cultural performer and one-man show from Japan. He has performed for the last 14 years at the Epcot Center in Walt Disney World and at more than 3,000 schools throughout the United States. A talented street performer, the Candyman keeps the audience entertained as he deftly creates intricate candy sculptures with extreme speed as he engages the audience with a variety of magic tricks and stories.

Amezaiku is Japanese candy craft artistry. The artist takes multi-colored taffy and creates sculptures using his hands and other instruments such as tweezers and scissors. Amezaiku artists also paint their sculpted candy with edible dyes to give the finished work more character. Animals and insects are common objects created by Amezaiku because they appeal to children.

Traditional Tea Ceremonies will be at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (40 minutes each) at the Guest House. The tea ceremonies are hosted by Kimiko Gunji, professor emeritus of Japanese arts and culture in the School of Art & Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sensei Gunji is also the retired director of Japan House at the university.

Cost is $25 per person. Space is limited to 15 guests per tea ceremony. Reservations are required by calling Kathy at (815) 316-3285. Participants need to check in at the admissions counter 20 minutes prior to their tea ceremony starting time.

For more about any of these programs, call (815) 229-9390.

From the Aug. 22-28, 2012, issue

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