Oregon Summer Festival 2011: A Benefit for Japan Disaster Relief

WHEN: July 2, 2011
WHERE: Uwajimaya Plaza Beaverton
10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.
Beaverton, Oregon 97005

TIME: 10:00 AM to 4:00PM

This post is from Uwajimaya and Yuuyake Shimbun - please contact them with any questions.

Beautiful Japanese ladies dressed in traditional Yakata, traditional dancing and festival foods from Japan. All to raise funds for Japan to help recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.
This year’s exciting Natsu Matsuri 2011 (Summer Festival 2011) will take place at Uwajimaya Beaverton Plaza on July 2, 2011. This traditional Japanese summer festival is centered on Japanese culture and Japanese games, foods, music and dance – just like the countless neighborhood and community festivals held throughout Japan each summer.
What makes this festival unique is that it is organized by community organizations and non-profits and has no commercial vendors. Further, this year proceeds raised during the festival will be used to help alleviate the suffering of those in Japan affected by Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.
The focus will be on Japanese music and dance and FUN at this family-friendly event, which will feature lots of live Japanese music and odori dancing, many traditional children’s games, shaved ice, Japanese and Asian festival foods, a yukata contest, and much, much more.
Takohachi, Portland's most creative and exciting taiko and Japanese dance performers will headline the entertainment at this year’s Natsu Matsuri. A very special guest this year will be Seijiro Shimomura of Blizzard, a popular Japanese rock band in the late 1980s who opened for Journey during their Japan and Asia tour. This multitalented singer continues to perform, write, and produce music and remains popular in Japan.
Games will include traditional favorites like the yo-yo tsuri (yo-yo fishing game), shageki (rubber band shooting game), Kingyo Sukui (gold fish game), and Super ball sukui (bouncing rubber ball game) games. There will also be katanuki, a very old and rare game that uses small slabs of sugar candy have simple shapes cut into them. Use a pushpin and skill to separate the shape without breaking it and you win a prize - and if you do not win, you still get to eat your game piece!
Natsu Matsuri tee shirts will be on sale during the festival. All proceeds will go to local and Japan- based non-profit organizations to assist in the relief efforts for those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Additionally, there will be a silent auction with many nice Japan-related gifts and housewares, gift certificates, and many items donated by businesses and individuals in the community. Again, all proceeds will go Japan relief efforts.
Numerous organizations, including the Japanese Cultural Society of Salem, Team Hope of Tigard, Sakura Kai, Portland Shokookai (Oregon's Japanese Business Association), the Oregon Buddhist Temple, the Japan Student Society of Oregon and others, will be serving delicious Japanese foods like grilled squid, Japanese shaved ice, takoyaki and other traditional Japanese festival foods.
The Oregon Buddhist temple will host a Kimono Photo booth where visitors to the festival will get a chance to try on a Japanese wedding kimono and have their picture taken in it. Small donations are asked and all proceeds will go the Japan relief efforts.
Team Hope, a Japanese International Baptist Church group that has already traveled to Japan with shipments of relief supplies and has worked with Billy Graham’s disaster relief effort and other organizations to help the earthquake and tsunami victims there, will hold a silent auction. Try your luck and bid on items with great prices on weekend getaways, merchandise, and gift certificates from local business.
The festival will be held in the Uwajimaya Plaza parking lot (10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton) from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and there is plenty of free parking, so gather up family and friends for a day of exciting entertainment and delicious Japanese shaved ice, grilled corn, yakisoba, and lots of other delicious festival foods, fun activities, and great entertainment at Oregon’s very own traditional Japanese Summer Festival.
Natsu Matsuri 2011 is sponsored by Yoshida Foods International, Dai Ichi International Travel, and Uwajimaya, Inc., and supported by Oregon Buddhist Temple, Japanese International Baptist Church of Tigard, Konko Church, Salem's Japanese Cultural Society, Sakura Kai, Japanese Student Society of Oregon (JSSO), Friends of Japan in Oregon, and The Yuuyake Shimbun.
For more information concerning Natsu Matsuri 2011, please contact Keiko Honda at 503-297-9267. For information about Uwajimaya, please contact Jack Ayers at 503-643-4512.

Any film crew or journalist who attends the festival and who will be reporting will be treated to lunch and a special dessert. Please see Jim Hill at the festival.