2017 Festival Update
This will be accomplished by staying true to our original mission:
To share and educate the larger Utah community about Japanese and Japanese American culture, history, and traditions as well as to be a way to pass on the Japanese traditions and culture to younger fifth, sixth, and seventh generation Japanese Americans and to help them identify with their heritage.
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Free Children’s Activities
Come visit the children’s booth for face painting, coloring pages, Kite making and more.
In response to the increased demand we will have 5 tea ceremonies this year. We also strive to share other aspects of the Japanese culture.
All day long we have two stages going with Taiko, Koto, Kimono Fashion shows and much more. You won’t want to miss our featured guests the Taikoza Group!
Come find traditional Japanese clothing, decorations and toys in additional to more modern fares.
From Modern takes on classic dishes to home cooked flavors and traditional cuisine we have it all. There is always something for everyone, and you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get some good food.
Exhibits and Learning
Do you want to learn more about Japanese Culture and Japanese History in Utah? Make sure to visit the Buddhist Temple for Display Exhibits and Discussion Panels.
For years Nihon Matsuri has had a tradition of sharing cosplay inspired by Japanese sources. If you would like to enter the Cosplay Contest make sure to check out the rules.
This festival is only possible thanks to the amazing you for stepping up and volunteering every year. As a thank you this year we will be adding gifts for those that sign up to volunteer.
Japanese History in Utah
Unfortunately, many younger Utahns are unaware that a “Japantown” established in approximately 1907 and located in part where the Salt Palace now stands, played an important role for both the Japanese as well as for the larger community. The proximity of Japantown to Main Street enabled a daily contact and interaction between the Japanese community and the larger community. A century of activities and memories are the legacy of a Japantown that nurtured a sense of place and identity for individuals of Japanese descent and endures for those who value Japanese culture.
The core of Japantown was demolished in 1966 to make way for the building of the Salt Palace displacing many Japanese residents and businesses. The Japanese Church of Christ, established in 1918 and the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, circa 1912, located on 100 South between 200 and 300 West, are the remainders of a once vibrant presence of the Japanese community. These churches continue to serve as religious sanctuaries and as havens for community gatherings and activities. Unfortunately, the location has also been a target each time a change has occurred in the needs of the Salt Palace that has galvanized the Japanese American community to work towards minimizing potential future encroachments and to reestablish a sense of belonging. To this end, the Japanese Community Preservation Committee (JCPC) in their efforts to preserve the historical significance of the 100 South block have been successful in having the street designated as “Japantown.” The dedication of the honorary designation and the completion of the Japanese garden by the Salt Palace took place during the 2007 Nihon Matsuri.