Vashon’s Japan Festivals

The events have helped foster an awareness and appreciation of Japanese Americans on the island.

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019 2:06pm
  • News
Fyro Nishiyori (Nishiyori Family Photo).

Fyro Nishiyori (Nishiyori Family Photo).

By Bruce Haulman and Terry Donnelly

For The Beachcomber

For the past two years, the Japanese American Community on Vashon has offered a Vashon Japan Festival at the Mukai House and Garden.

The festival was inspired by the 2018 exhibit “Joy and Heartache: Japanese Americans on Vashon” at the Vashon Heritage Museum and hosted by the Friends of Mukai. Celebrating all things Japanese, the festival has fostered an awareness and appreciation of Japanese Americans on the island.

This year’s festival attracted close to 1,800 visitors and included Taiko drumming, a community Bon Odori dance, mochi making, a children’s village, a sake, perry, and Japanese beer garden, a collection of domestic Japanese vehicles, Japanese inspired arts, a Bonsai demonstration, and an Ikebana display. The Festival culminated with an evening lantern walk with lanterns floated on the newly restored Mukai Garden Pond.

The festival also included tsuru (crane) folding in support of Tsuru for Solidarity which reflects the experience of the World War II Japanese American exile and imprisonment through the phrase “Never Again is Now” in response to the current mass incarceration of immigrants. The dancers in the Jim Diers photograph are from Seattle’s Mary Ohno and Kabuik Academy.

The 2019 Vashon Japan Festival recreated, 81 years later, what the vibrant Japanese Community on Vashon had done in 1938 when the island Japanese Mother’s Club hosted a celebration of Japanese culture at the Island Club (now Ober Park) for island friends and teachers. Mrs. Fyro Nishiyori welcomed everyone in Japanese and was translated by her son Yukichi Nishiyori.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Restrictions clash with everyday life as pandemic rolls on

Business community, weddings caught between COVID-19 and measures to protect against it.

‘No comment’ from Chase Bank after employees test positive for virus

A spokesperson said Chase is looking “to ensure that the proper procedures were followed.”

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 28 to Aug. 3.

Heritage Museum launches a walking tour exhibit

The show consists of interpretative photo panels installed in the windows of 34 businesses.

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 20 to July 27.

Vashon superintendent announces online start for schools

All district schools will have weekly schedules, assigned work and attendance requirements.

Local services director pays visit to island community council

The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council will meet next at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, on Webex.

Vashon Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 Pandemic Situation Reports

Here’s what you need to know about July 14 to July 20.

UPDATED: Bank employees newest island COVID cases

The bank was first locked and dark last Friday afternoon.

Most Read