The Stage Program displays a wide range of Japanese culture, including traditional performances such as taiko drumming and a karate demonstration, and contemporary performances such as pop music and dancing. The audience can also participate in our original Japanese folk dance "New York Ondo!"
Sandra Endo is a television news correspondent on KTTV Los Angeles, Fox 11 News. Endo covers breaking news and feature reports for Good Day LA. She moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles after spending most of her career on the East Coast. Before making the move last summer, she worked for CNN based in Washington DC. Her stories have appeared on prime time shows such as AC360 with Anderson Cooper. She also reported on the devastating tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan in 2011, as well as the international conflicts in Egypt and the U.S involvement in Libya. Prior to joining CNN, Endo was a political reporter, host and anchor for NY1, covering a wide array of campaigns, the transit strike of 2005 and reporting around the clock after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A California native, Endo is a second generation Japanese American and is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.
10:30am - 12:10pm
Japanese Taiko Drumming
Soh Daiko was established as the first taiko drumming group on the East Coast in 1979 under the guidance of the New York Buddhist Church. Reverend Hozen Seki gave the name “Soh Daiko” which means “peace, harmony, working together.” The group gained early instruction from taiko players who taught basic techniques and philosophy as well as drum building; and later, the group received advanced instruction from Sensei Seiichi Tanaka of San Francisco Taiko Dojo. Soh Daiko’s current members come from diverse backgrounds and professions. The group’s repertoire includes traditional compositions from Shinto music, adaptations of existing taiko compositions, and original arrangements by its own members. Soh Daiko’s presentation also features movement and choreography, requiring strength, endurance, and energy, making for an exciting performance experience. Soh Daiko has performed at celebrated venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Radio City Music Hall, receiving critical acclaim from The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Dance Magazine.
JAPANESE FOLK DANCE INSTITUTE OF NEW YORK
Japanese Folk Dance
Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY, Inc was founded in 1992 by Momo Suzuki (teacher and director). The group celebrates and performs in myriad festivals. The group was created to give all the opportunity to enjoy Japanese Dance. Today they will be performing Bonodori, the raucous dance of the summer Bon Festival. New York Ondo led by Momo Suzuki made its World Premiere at Japan Day 2010 and was a great success. It uses the traditional spirit and movements of the Bon Odori dance to celebrate the four seasons in a way that is uniquely New York. New York Ondo features an English verse in the end!
SAMURAI SWORD SOUL
Japanese Sword Fighting
Samurai Sword Soul (SSS) is a theater company based in New York. Since the founding of the company by Yoshi Amao in 2003, its members have been seeking to embody the SPIRIT of SAMURAI and to stage the ULTIMATE SWORD FIGHTING PERFORMANCE. Their technique is based on a centuries-old traditional sword fighting style from Japan called Waki ryu. It also draws on the essence of kendo, iaido, karate, and kabuki dance. By blending these traditional influences with contemporary elements and their own artistry, they have established their unique "SAMURAI SWORD SOUL STYLE." With their combination of various entertaining elements, touching themes, and dazzling sword fighting scenes, their performances have thrilled audiences of all ages in NYC and other cities in the US. SSS started to perform for the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 2003. Since then, it has performed all over the US, Canada and Europe. SSS performers are currently offering sword fighting classes at Peridance Capezio Center and Battery Dance Studio. www.samuraiswordsoul.com
INTERNATIONAL KARATE ORGANIZATION KYOKUSHINKAIKAN
International Karate Organization (IKO) Kyokushinkaikan is the worldwide governing body for KYOKUSHIN™ Karate, with schools in 120 countries and over 10 million members. Kyokushin Karate NY is an IKO-Direct Branch with 3 locations in the Tri-State area. With programs for all ages and abilities, KYOKUSHIN stresses the basics of practical training in order to prepare students to avoid conflict, as in the Way of Budo, the honor code of the Samurai. The philosophy of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan is to contribute to society through international exchange and education of youth, to impart an appreciation for life and humanity. The ultimate goal of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan is to advance World Peace.
12:40pm - 1:55pm
FIGHTING IN THE STREETS
Band (Video Game Music)
"Fighting in the Streets" was created by Alex Lopez and Norman Edwards in the fall of 2009.
It is a fiery band of musicians who utilize jazz, funky grooves, and smooth showmanship through video game music. We play songs from Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter 2, Mega Man, Castlevania, and more. The band consists of five members including, reeds, guitar, keys, bass, and drums. The goal of the band is to play music we have listened to subconsciously as kids and bring to life with new arrangements and pure RAW energy.
Nobuya Nagahama has participated and appeared in numerous dance showcases, as well as TV shows such as: "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE", "Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon", and "THE MOVEMENT-A THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE-" at Joyce Soho Theater. In 2008, in New York City, at the "SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE" Season 5 audition, he was selected to travel to Las Vegas and made it to the Top-60. There, he received favorable comments in regard to his amusing dancing style and funny character. Additionally, he has won a rave review from The New York Times stating, "Nobuya Nagahama is a scene stealer with his sinuous blend of popping and voguing.” Nagahama also teaches Hip Hop at Peridance Capezio Center and T.M.H. Dance Studio. One of his students, Haruto Maeda, won the 1st prize at Amateur Night twice with his choreography and advanced to the semi-final, "Top Dog”, to be held on June 3rd, 2015. He has just started a new project with Toshihiko Nakazawa, Takushi “Huu Rock” Minami, and Atsunori “Umihei” Hayamizu. He is showcasing a part of it at Japan Day 2015. To see more information, please visit his official website, www.nobuyan.com
Dance & Music
Talented New York-based artists from Japan will get together to perform for Japan Day!! Our theme for this year is "O・MO・TE・NA・SHI”. Describing gracious hospitality in a traditional Japanese sense, "O・MO・TE・NA・SHI” emphasizes dedication and thoughtfulness in hosting a guest. In the manner of "O・MO・TE・NA・SHI,” we will treat our audience with original music and dance. Music Director/Composer/Keyboardist Noriko Sunamoto has composed original music that will be performed with traditional Japanese musical instruments. There will also be a collaboration with dance works choreographed by Chiho Yokoyama, Musa Hitomi, Sayuri Tanabe, and Mio Nakanishi that brings together Japanese traditional dance, jazz dance, ballet, and contemporary dance.
Intermission with Rio Koike
Within 6 months of launching his career as a magician, Rio Koike was awarded membership in the Magic Castle in Hollywood, the largest association of magicians in the world. He has performed his magic show that features elements of both traditional Japanese entertainment and American-style performance all over the U.S. and Japan. His solo shows are full of surprises and laughs. In 1999, Rio also started a career as stand-up comedian. When he appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2003, he made it to the top 32 contestants in the U.S. In the same year, he embarked on a U.S. comedy tour. In 2009, Comedy Central’s WebTV show "American English with JIMMY T” starring Rio was seen by an audience of over 100,000 people in the U.S. and chosen as the No. 1 comedy piece of the month.
2:25pm - 4:00pm
Japanese Taiko Drumming & Hip-Hop
COBU, based in New York City, was created as a Live Rhythm Performing Arts Group in 2000. Yako Miyamoto, the founder of Cobu, is a veteran member of the Off-Broadway musical STOMP. COBU combines elements of the Japanese traditional Taiko drumming with NY style street dancing. COBU’s motto is ‘Dance like Drumming, Drum like Dancing,’ inspired by the combined sounds of New York and traditional Japanese culture. Their signature sound is created organically through acoustic instruments rather than digital transcription. This juxtaposition of traditional modernity makes COBU a particularly unique and original performing arts group.COBU has been featured in major venues including Madison Square Garden in NYC. Hollywood movie director, Mr. Duane Adler, developed a 3D film based on Yako Miyamoto called "Make Your Move / COBU 3D" which was released in the USA in 2014.
Live Painting (Roller Art)
Takeshi Sato was born in Miyagi,Japan, He traveled to America in his early adulthood where he taught himself mural painting. He went onto decorating walls of numerous theme parks, restaurants and other kinds of establishments. His innovative style has brought in the essence of craftsmanship into the art world, and his short but vigorous live performance shows have captured the attention of media worldwide.
Dance & Vocal
EXPG Boyz is a performance group consisting of participants of a new development program for upcoming artists from Japan. We are currently based in NYC and advancing our skills at the EXPG Dance & Vocal Studio on 2nd Avenue.
Members (age): Masafumi Okamoto (16), Shoji Katsumata (15), Taiki Iwamoto (15), Micks Fukahori (15), Ricky Okuda (15), Yuto Yoshida (15), Ayumu "Mars" Imazu (14), Masahiro Sunada (14), Kenya Fujita (13)
Dance & Vocal
In December 2005, producer Yasushi Akimoto created the idol group "AKB48." Based on the concept, "Idols you can meet every day," AKB48 performs at the AKB48 Theater in Akihabara almost every day. AKB48 is now consisted of five teams (A, K, B, 4, 8) and trainees. Sister groups have expanded both in Japan (SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, and NGT48 scheduled to debut in 2015), and outside Japan (JKT48 and SNH48). In 2015, AKB48 has made a groundbreaking record of 20 consecutive million-selling CDs in a row for the first time in history. Along with their performances at the theater, appearances on TV, movies, magazines, and other media can be seen in Japan every day.
*6 members from AKB48 --- Saho Iwatate, Rina Hirata, Haruna Kojima, Tomu Muto, Rena Nozawa, and Ryoka Oshima --- came to Japan Day 2015.
10:30am ~ Soh Daiko - Japanese Taiko Drumming
10:50am ~The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York - Japanese Folk Dance
11:05am ~ Greetings
11:15am ~ Japan Day Art Contest Awards Ceremony
11:35am ~ Samurai Sword Soul - Japanese Sword Fighting
11:55am ~ International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan - Karate
12:40pm ~ NY Ondo with The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York - Bon Odori
1:00pm ~ Fighting in The Streets - Band (Video Game Music)
1:20pm ~ Nobuya Nagahama Dance-ish Project- Dance-ish Performance
1:40pm ~ O•MO•TE•NA•SHI - Dance & Music
- Intermission with Rio Koike -