Japan Day Celebrations Kick Off at Marshall University

Matthew Schaffer, Student Reporter

Kimonos, tea, manga, anime, traditional instruments and cosplay all went on display at the Japan Day Celebration at Marshall University on Friday, Sept. 23.

The celebration was thrown by the Japan Club in tandem with the Anime and Manga Association, Cherry Blossom Cosplay club and theSadô Club.

“We have so many Japan-related student organizations at Marshall,” said Dr. Natsuki Fukunaga Anderson, director of Marshall’s Japanese program and faculty advisor of Japan Club, Anime Club and Cosplay Club. “We know we have similar interests but don’t have a place to discuss them. This is the chance to get together and get to know each other.”

The event was held to connect the members of the clubs who share interests in and celebrate Japanese culture. The celebration began with an introduction led by Anderson to allow attendees to get to know each other before moving on to a traditional Koto performance. The performance was followed by a tea ceremony led by the Sadô club before each club had an opportunity to introduce themselves and their interests.

“It’s bringing together clubs that celebrate Japanese culture,” Akira Kusakabe, junior at Marshall, said. “It’s a chance to have these clubs connect.”

Previously, the event was held annually; however, COVID-19 forced the celebration to be canceled in 2020. This year was the first Japan Day Celebration since the pandemic. 

Since the pandemic, many new students have joined clubs relating to Japanese culture and new clubs have been formed. This event allows those students to see what other clubs could interest them.

“The reason we do this is that, with Japan Club being the most known one, a lot of people don’t know we have other clubs affiliated with Japan,” Cheyenne Thomas, Marshall student, tutor and event organizer, said.

For anyone interested in learning more about the Japan Club, Marshall Anime and Manga Association or Marshall’s Cherry Blossom Cosplay club, contact Anderson at [email protected]. Meanwhile, for anyone interested in the Sadô Club, contact [email protected].