Summer Festival at Anderson Gardens Aug. 23-24

Staff Report

Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, will host its annual Japanese Summer Festival from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24.

The Japanese Summer Festival is a two-day celebration of traditional cultural arts that includes exhibits, demonstrations and performances appealing to all guests of all ages.

The Japanese Summer Festival weekend will begin with an Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday. David Anderson will introduce the Consul General of Japan at Chicago, Masaharu Yoshida, and the Chairman of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (Chicago) and CEO of Kikkoman Foods USA, Kazuo Shimuzo, for opening remarks.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on the lawn near the Pavilion in the Garden of Reflection and will be immediately followed by the first Taiko drum performance.

Admission to the Japanese Summer Festival is free for Anderson Japanese Gardens members and is the cost of general admission for non-members. A small participation fee applies for the tea ceremonies. All other performances and activities are included with the price of admission.

Performances and demonstrations will take place in the Visitor Center and throughout the gardens both days of the Festival. Visit for a complete schedule of events. Following are some of the activities included in the festival:

• Taiko drum performances — Japanese drum ensemble;

• Bonsai exhibit — Japanese art form of miniature trees grown in containers;

• Bunjikan performances — Traditional Japanese martial arts;

• Calligraphy instruction — Guest participation encouraged;

• Candyman performances — Japanese street performer;

• Ikebana display — Traditional Japanese art of flower arranging;

• Japanese artifact display;

• Kimono display;

• Koto performances — Japanese stringed instrument;

• Origami — Hands-on demonstrations of Japanese art of paper folding;

• Photography exhibit — “Made in Japan,” by Larry Simon;

• Raku pottery — Demonstration and displays; and

• Sumi-e brush painting demonstrations — Traditional Japanese art form.

For those wishing to participate in a more intimate cultural experience, traditional tea ceremonies will be led by the members of Urasenke Tankokai, led by Professor Kimiko Gunji. Gunji is professor emeritus of Japanese Arts & Culture in the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, and the former director of Japan House at the University of Illinois.

Tea ceremonies in the gardens’ sukiya-style Guest House will begin at 12:30 p.m., both days. This exclusive tea gathering will be led by Professor Gunji and is limited to 15 guests. The participation fee is $30 per guest.

Tea ceremonies in the Gardens’ authentic Tea House (Chisokuan) will be offered at 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., both days. The participation fee is $15 per guest and tea ceremonies are limited to eight guests.

Tea ceremonies in the gardens’ Gazebo will be hosted at noon and 2 p.m., both days. The participation fee is $15 per guest.

Reservations are required for all tea ceremonies. For additional information and to make reservations, contact Katie Weston at (815) 316-3306 or

Posted Aug. 20, 2014

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