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Japan Week in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Genryu Arts and Japan Week/SF, in collaboration with the Japan Center East and West Malls, is presenting the 2018 Japan Week Festival through July 2.

Tatsu Aoki and Melody Takata

Under the artistic direction of resident artist Melody Takata, Japan Week/SF is a Japantown-based cultural festival featuring performances and workshops/demonstrations promoting the unique contribution of Japanese cultural arts.

The festival opens with workshops by shamisen masters, followed by a Nihon buyo (classical dance) workshop, and the world premiere of Takata’s interdisciplinary theater performance, culminating in Japan Day activities in the historic Japantown Peace Plaza and Japan Center East Mall.

Japan Week/SF is made possible through the support of Grants for the Arts, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, and generous individuals.

Featured events:

• Shamisen workshop with Sanjuro Toyoaki and Tatsu Aoki on Wednesday, June 27, at 6 p.m. at Union Bank Hospitality Room, Japan Center East Mall, 22 Peace Plaza.

• Introduction to nagauta shamisen with Grand Master Chizuru Kineya of Tokyo on Thursday, June 28, at 6 p.m. at Union Bank Hospitality Room.

Chizuru Kineya

• Interdisciplinary theater performance, “Boxes,” on Friday, June 29, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 30, at 1 and p.m. at Tateuchi Auditorium, 1830 Sutter St. Referencing the work of Japanese writer and political activist Kobe Abe, featuring musician/dancer Takata; saxophonist Francis Wong; tuba player William Roper of Los Angeles; taiko artist Kioto Aoki; bassist, shamisen, taiko artist and filmmaker Tatsu Aoki of Chicago; and grandmaster of the Nagata (kabuki style) shamisen Chizuru Kineya of Tokyo.

• Nihon buyo with Fujima Ryu of Chicago and Grand Master Yoshinojo Fujima on Saturday, June 30, at 12 and 6 p.m. at Tateuchi Auditorium.

• Japan Day on Sunday, July 1, from 12 to 4:30 p.m. at Post and Buchanan streets in San Francisco Japantown. Peace Plaza — shigin, taiko minyo, and Nihon buyo grand master Shunojo Fujima, guest artist from Chicago. Japan Center East Mall — koto ensemble, toyoaki and nagauta shamisen, origami, shodo, mataro dolls, odori.

Admission to any Japan Week event is free, but you must order tickets to ensure that you will have a seat. You may order your tickets here.

GenRyu Arts is a community-based nonprofit (501)(c)(3) organization in San Francisco’s Japantown. It has served over 300,000 people through public performances, taiko and dance classes, and school-site residencies, and taught over 10,000 children directly through satellite programs, donated over 1,000 performances to the San Francisco community, and programmed guest artists to teach minyo, martial arts, sumie, poetry, jazz, shamisen, and taiko.

For more information, visit:

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