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Japan Festival


Japan Festival

Sumo wrestlers, crane project highlight 2011 Japan Festival

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Sumo wrestling and a project to help tsunami victims in Japan will highlight the 14th Annual Greater Kansas City Japan Festival from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in the Carlsen Center of Johnson County Community College.

A three-time world sumo champion will wrestle a three-time United States sumo champion, showing various movements of traditional sumo while an announcer narrates the action.

Sumo performances will be at 12:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. in Yardley Hall.

Throughout the day, festival attendees can learn how to make paper origami cranes for a suggested donation of $1. The cranes and the money will be sent to victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last March.

Two panelists will discuss the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis at 1:30 p.m. in Hudson Auditorium in the Nerman Museum. The panelists will be Takeo Shibata, former Consul General of Japan at Kansas City, and Chris Kuehl, managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence.

Regular festival favorites are back, including the Japanese candy artist, kids’ activities, anime and manga, Japanese musical performances and traditional Japanese food.

The Heart of America Japan-America Society and the Japan Festival Committee sponsor the event. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students and children, and free to children under 5. For more information, go to