With thousands thronging the Riccarton Park Racecourse on March 6, the annual Canterbury Japan Day proved to be a hit with all age-groups. While kids had fun with Kantan – the official mascot and a very cute rabbit as well as with Origami – the traditional Japanese paper craft, the elders enjoyed trying their hands on the Japanese instrument Koto. Kite-making workshop by Mr. Modegi and Japanese calligraphy lessons were also widely hailed.
Hosted by the Japanese Society of Canterbury and co-hosted by the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch, with sponsorship form the Christchurch City Council, the Day also saw martial arts performances by Canterbury Aikido Club, Canterbury Kendo Club and Mas Oyama Kyokushin Karate Webster Dojo.
Music and dance performances included J-Pop Dancers, Princess Chiyo, Japanese Drums Takumi and Zumba with Missy. A performance of Kouhaku Uta Gassen was also presented. Japanese traditional acupuncture and Shiatsu, flower arrangement Ikebana, and over 30 stalls serving traditional Japanese food made it a fun and relaxing day.
To the more culturally-oriented, the Japanese tea ceremony literally gave a taste of Japan in Canterbury.