Organized by the Chicago Japanese American Council, Japan Day Chicago was a two-day festival (held on July 18 and 19) that combined traditional Japanese arts and modern culture. USJC served as a sponsor to the event, which entertained thousands of guests with activities and workshops, as well as performances such as a traditional Awa Odori folk dance and a J-Pop concert. Visitors also indulged in Japanese food such as okonomiyaki,gyuudon, and a selection of various styles of ramen, all prepared by local vendors.
"The goal really is to spread the culture, traditions, food and art of the Japanese people," USJC Member Bob Kumaki, who served as a member of the event's executive committee, told the Chicago Tribune.
(L-R) Associate Member Ryota Sekine, Board Member Dayne Kono, and Council Member Marion Friebus-Flaman at the USJC Booth
Chicago-based USJC Members presented a booth on both days, writing the names of attendees in Japanese on TOMODACHI themed cards, and explaining the activities and goals of USJC and TOMODACHI. In addition to Mr. Kumaki, Board Member Dayne Kono; Council Members Marion Friebus-Flaman, Kathryn Ibata-Arens, Tomoko Kizawa; Associate Member Ryota Sekine; and friends and family of Members organized and supported the booth.
Mr. Sekine writing guests' names in Japanese