Japan Matsuri is the Japanese festival of the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. During the two days of the festival the visitors can dive into a far and fascinating world, between tradition and modernity. In addition to the exhibition area, the entertainment area, workshops, videogames, exhibits and some nice Japanese cuisine, the festival offers also some concerts and live shows.
With the word “Matsuri” (祭り, or just 祭), in Japan, it is often referred to a festival that is held in public places such as shintoist or buddhist temples, a known area in the city or also just simply a school. Since the nature of the Festival organized in Ticino is similar, the use of the name Matsuri was a direct consequence.
the permanent mission of Japan to the international organizations in Geneva, Ms Asako Nakayama, vice consul and cultural attaché at the consulate in Geneva and Mr. Mario Branda mayor of Bellinzona.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Japan, celebrated in 2014, the festival has been officially recognized by the Japanese Embassy as part of the festivities and had the honor to have as guests at the inauguration H.E Ryuhei Maeda, Ambassador of Japan in Switzerland,visiting officially and for the first time Ticino, followed by his spouse and by a delegation from the city hall of Bellinzona, lead by Mr. Mario Branda, Mayor of Bellinzona.
In 2015 the new vice consul and cultural attaché at the consulate in Geneva, Mr Yuji Senoo, was guest of the festival followed by the president of the City Coucil, Mr Tiziano Zanetti.
The event is organised by the homonymous association made up of young people who share a keen interest in the Japanese culture and in all of its aspects, whether it is the tradition, technology,art or whatever, and therefore wish to give the visitors a chance to reach the products, the customs and disciplines related to Japan. The aim of this event is therefore to present to the public this beautiful culture in an innovative, fun and dynamic way and in a relaxed environment, free from prejudices which stimulates the curiosity about the peculiar characteristics of this nation that make it so fascinating.
For this purpose, during the two days of the event, there won’t just be a market to buy typical Japanese products, but rather an event where you can also discover and learn new aspects about the Japanese culture. As a matter of fact, the public will be able to see some wonderful exhibitions, find entertainment or educational spaces where children and adults as well will be able to participate in different activities, such as drawing manga, origami, Japanese, ikebana, bonsai, shiatsu massage, martial arts, etc. We will also suggest some shows and conferences: on the stage there will be artists, prominent and cultural figures and experts, which will encourage a great entertainment.
The purely cultural footprint is supported by a charitable vocation: as a matter of fact, the association was created in 2011, following the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th of the same year. The first edition of the event took place on April 2012, a year after the terrible catastrophe, in order to remember what happened and make visitors aware of the persistent seriousness of the situation. Once again, with part of the profit of the fair, Japan Matsuri supports the project “Sendai Rainbow House” from the fundraising association ASHINAGA. This building hosts kids who lost their parents after the 3/11 disaster