This Sunday, an event typically only seen in Japan is coming to Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. It’s called Matsuri, and it’s Toronto’s second annual Japanese summer festival, which is following last year’s success that had an estimated 20,000 guests.
Matsuri is back on Sunday, July, 27th this year with new events taking place.
Shuntaro Kurakake, the president of Matsuri, said that he wanted to introduce Japanese culture into the Canadian community through this huge event at Yonge-Dundas Square.
Japanese food has become popular and common in Toronto, along with Japanese animation. However, typically Japanese events are still underground for most Canadians. For those that know little about Japan, it’s a great opportunity to feel the summer atmosphere at the Matsuri (which means festival) while it is still in Toronto.
To stimulate your curiosity, I’m going to present some of the functions and stage performers that will be at the event.
First is Sakuramai a Japanese dance group who also performed at last year’s event. They dance Yosakoi, a traditional dance from the Kouchi province. They dance powerfully and uniquely, which will surely cultivate understanding about Japan.
When I was an elementary student in Tokyo, we students danced Yosakoi on an annual sports day. We were able to have a great experience through Yosokoi and also the viewers enjoyed it as well. Although it did made us a little bit out of breath, it was a blast.
The opening act, Isshin Daiko, will play the taiko, which is a Japanese drum. The taiko is a pretty simple musical instrument, but it brings enthusiasm to listeners, with its vigorous boom sounding like a heart beating. Additionally, workshops by Isshin Daiko are available for anyone who wants to experience something special and perhaps new.
You can also join the interactive dance, Matsuri Odori. This dance is one that is typically done at all Japanese summer festivals. Surprisingly, it is not challenging for beginners, so feel free to participate in it and have fun with all of the other participants.
Matsuri will have lots of programs to ensure that you have fun in the sun this Sunday.
Free up your schedule for Matsuri and feel the Japanese summer in the heart of Toronto!