Japan Matsuri is the Japanese festival of the Italian speaking part of Switzerland.
With the word “Matsuri” (祭り, or just 祭), the Japanese people often refer to a festival that is held in public places such as Shintoist or Buddhist temples, a known area in the city or simply a school area.
Therefore, the choice for the name Japan Matsuri is inspired not only by Japanese culture, but also by the meaning of this term and the nature of the Festival.
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 interesting concerts and live shows.
In 2013, the festival has had the honor to welcome H.E Takashi Okada, ambassador and representative added to 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 organized by the Japan Matsuri Association, made by young people who share a keen interest in the Japanese culture and who wish to give the visitors a chance to know more about the culture and disciplines related to this beautiful country. In fact, the aim of this event is to present to the public this fascinating culture in an innovative, fun and dynamic way, and in a relaxed environment. For this purpose, during the two days of the event, there will be many different ways to discover and learn new aspects about the Japanese custom and to enjoy every aspect of it. As a matter of fact, the public will be able to see some wonderful exhibitions, spend time in some educational spaces where children and adults will be able to participate in different activities, such as drawing manga, origami, Ikebana, bonsai art, shiatsu massage, martial arts, and much more!
Last but not least, many artists, cultural figures and experts will hold conferences and perform on stage in amazing shows, giving to the visitors the chance to fully immerse in the beauty of Japan.
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, that builds houses to host kids who lost their parents after the 3/11 disaster.