About

Japan Fair is a free, two-day festival in Bellevue, WA, that celebrates Japanese art and culture. Formerly known as "Aki Matsuri", Japan Fair is a communal endeavor of musicians, artisans, community organizations, and businesses from both Japan and the U.S. who come together to share their products, talents, and knowledge of Japan. Through live performances on stage, hands on exhibits, cultural workshops, and vendor booths, the public is immersed in the music, dance, artisanry, and philosophy of Japan.

Japan Fair is operated by ASUNARO, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Japan Fair does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, or disability.

Japan Fair

Mission

To nurture and promote the traditional and modern cultural arts of Japan. We strive to celebrate Japan’s heritage while also sharing new trends in today’s Japan.

 
 

Vision Statement

Virtual Japan Fair 2021 will focus on supporting and encouraging our Nikkei Community by spotlighting Japanese art, food, and cultural uniqueness in this difficult time.

Awareness

Increase awareness of Japanese culture in the community by sharing traditional and modern art, crafts, technology, and culture of Japan.

Relationships

Build relationships between people of diverse communities in order to foster understanding and explore perceptions of cultural values.

Community

Bring together American and Japanese organizations and businesses to engage in the promotion of education and cultural exchange.

Mr. HISAO INAGAKI

CONSUL GENERAL OF JAPAN IN SEATTLE

I would like to commend ASUNARO’s efforts to reimagine and adapt Japan Fair in Bellevue to meet the challenges of our “new reality” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  I greatly appreciate everyone working hard to keep the momentum moving forward and finding innovative ways to promote Japanese businesses and culture.

 

The Consulate-General of Japan will continue to offer our support to the organizers and volunteers in all their endeavors to launch Japan Fair 2021 into the world of virtual programing. This will be my first Japan Fair, and I am very excited to participate, along with the local community. I am sure that a new audience from beyond this area is also eagerly awaiting to tune in as well!

Ms. YUKA SHIMIZU

FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of BELLEVUE CHILDREN'S ACADEMY and WILLOWS PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Ms.Yuka.jpg

It has been several years since we carried on the legacy of ENMA’s Aki Matsuri. Japan Fair introduces a wide range of cultural and educational experiences. We offer everything from traditional Japanese art and culture to modern industries and products, educational experiences for children, and amazing performances and workshops. Japan Fair is the annual event where individuals, organizations, and community groups come together to celebrate Japanese culture – all in the heart of Bellevue! We continue to show appreciation for previous generations of our Japanese- American community; due to their dedication, we now live in a thriving community. Today we strive to enhance that community for our future generations. Meydenbauer Center is centrally located, accessible to all, and has superior indoor facilities to host our fair. Please bring your family, friends and neighbors to our event!

Mr. ALLEN NAKAMOTO

NISEI VETERANS COMMITTEE

While United States and Japan form a cornerstone of the Pacific peace policy, a mutual understanding is vital in this collaboration. The Japan Fair is a special community project to introduce Japan as an advanced developed economy of Asia that treasures its art and culture. The Japan Fair will highlight Japan’s technological advancement while it maintains its social balance and promote its traditional art. Japan is a neighbor across the Pacific and the Japan Fair hope to show some familiarity and uniqueness of the culture. Over 100 years of Immigration from Japan have brought many familiar arts, crafts and customs to the Pacific North West. We hope that the Japan Fair will open up new opportunities to learn and to grow for all visitors and exhibitors.  

 

Mr. TOMIO MORIGUCHI

CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF UWAJIMAYA INC.

Although the USA is a land of immigrants of varying generations, it is very important to have knowledge and if possible to have experiences related to our heritage family culture.  These unique cultural education and experiences made available at the Aki Matsuri and Japan Fair provides enduring strength for both our ethnic minority community and a better understanding for the larger whole community. Thank you.

allennakamoto.jpg
 

Japan Fair 2020 Committee

Board of Directors

Yuka Shimizu

Allen Nakamoto

Susumu (Sam) Takahashi

Noriko Palmer

Tsutomu (Tom) Sasaki

Advisors

Eriko (Elly) Baxter

Hiroko Huntoon

Ryosuke Komori

Kotoku Kurachi

Sumiko Kurachi

Yoshiaki Minegishi

Lynn Miyauchi

Tomio Moriguchi

June Nakamoto

Harry Nomoto

Rakuko Rubin

Akemi Sagawa

Naoko Tajima

Asami Tsuruta

Honorary Advisors

Hisao Inagaki

Tom Brooke

Katsuko Brooke

 

Japan Fair History

Japan Fair formed in 2016 as a continuation of the legacy of the “Aki Matsuri”, an annual festival in Bellevue that was presented by the non-profit organization Eastside Nihon Matsuri Association (ENMA). The Aki Matsuri was a two-day program that celebrated Japan’s rich cultural heritage, and featured cultural, educational, and fun events for all age groups. It was held each Fall season for 18 years and was greatly appreciated by the community. In 2016 ENMA retired as a non-profit, and the Aki Matsuri began its transition into a new, sustainable community event. This event, headed by a new volunteer team with the goal of carrying on the annual festival tradition, was called Japan Fair.

 

The first Japan Fair was held at Meydenbauer Center on September 3 – 4, 2016, under the guidance and help of ENMA as the official successor to the Aki Matsuri. 15,000 people were estimated by Meydenbauer Center to have attended the launch of Japan Fair. Many were returning attendees of the Aki Matsuri, although the festival drew many new, first-time attendees as well, along with a number of new exhibitors from both America and Japan who shared their projects and products with the people of the Pacific Northwest.