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Japanese Garden To Educate Through Koyo Matsuri

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

japanese garden

Cowra Japanese Garden Manager Shane Budge said he aims to educate locals about Japanese culture at Cowra’s inaugural Koyo Matsuri festival next week.

Running for two days from Tuesday May 4 to Wednesday May 5, the festival, of which the name translates to ‘Autumn Festival’, will aim to celebrate Japanese national holidays ‘Greenery Day’, May 4, and ‘Children’s Day’, May 5.

It will focus on Japanese culture and tradition in an Australian context, and as such, feature seminars and workshops, many of those with school children, revolving around treasured Japanese objects and cultural traditions relating to the garden, including bonsai, ikebana, origami and tea ceremony. Mr Budge said the event will become an annual event.

“It will focus on teaching people about Japanese culture, and that’s how it will differ to Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom/Spring Festival),” he said.

“As opposed to being a festival with stalls and entertainment, it will feature workshops, engaging our locals and local schools to learn about Japanese culture.”

Most of the festival’s workshops will take place on the Wednesday of the event, with formal proceedings taking place on the Tuesday.

Tuesday’s program will begin with a service of respect wreath laying ceremony at the War Cemetery, before progressing to cultural programs and the official Mayoral reception, led by Mayor Bill West and Japanese Gardens Chairman Bob Griffiths, with special guest Mr Shingo Yamagami, the Ambassador of Japan.

Wednesday’s schedule will feature workshops in tea ceremonies, origami, ikebana, stories, cultural items, bonsais, children’s games and a Kimono demonstration.

The full program can be found on the Cowra Japanese Garden website.

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