MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
The echo of Taiko drums resonated throughout the lunchroom as station residents participated in the Japanese American Society Culture Festival aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan March 8, 2014.
Attendees gathered inside the Matthew C. Perry High School cafeteria to take part in the annual free culture festival presented by the JAS.
The event gave station residents the opportunity to experience Japanese customs and traditions. These experiences included several interactive events such as Ikebana flower arrangements, Origami and Japanese calligraphy.
“We have been hosting this festival for 57 years,” said Javier Martinez, the president of JAS. “Our motivation for doing this event is simply to show the community the culture that is all around them. We know that everyone can’t always go out in town to see these types of things, so this is a way to bring culture to them.”
After a Taiko drum performance by members of JAS, the audience got the chance to test their rhythm skills by going on stage and playing along with the performers.
Following the Taiko drum concert, members of the Fire Snake Theater reenacted a Kagura performance of “Yamata-no-Orochi.”
“Yamata-no-Orochi” depicts the tale of a Shinto god named Susano-o, who, after expulsion from Heaven due to his bad behavior, finds himself battling Yamata-no-Orochi, an eight-headed and eight-tailed serpent that terrorized people and destroyed houses.
As part of the play, members of the Fire Snake Theater dressed in dragon costumes armed with fireworks to portray the fiery breath of the mythological fiend while adding flair to their performance.
“This is one of many events we host,” said Amy Elder, the head of education for JAS. “It’s events like this that get people out in town to experience the Japanese culture.”
Elder said she looks forward to hosting events like the culture festival, and she looks forward to seeing more people attend upcoming JAS hosted events.
For more information about events hosted by JAS call 253-4744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.