Japan Day organisers say 2017 event was biggest yet

Organisers of an annual event celebrating Japanese culture and links with the north-east of Scotland have hailed this year's showcase as the biggest yet.

More than 2,100 people attended the Japan Day Aberdeen 2017 family-friendly festival at Cults Academy on Sunday, June 11.

The turnout was more than doubled the previous year and continued a trend of growing participation since the inception of the event 13 years ago.

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Chief organiser Preston Gan paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of the team of volunteers that ensured the event was welcoming and smooth running so visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere on the day.

He said: “We are really pleased that, once again, Japan Day was a tremendous success, with attendance more than double the previous year.

“It was a great response from the public to turn out in such huge numbers from across the north-east and further afield including Glasgow, Dundee and Inverness.

“The success of this event is down to the hard work of the volunteers involved. I really cannot stress that enough – all of their efforts paid off.

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The volunteers came together from different walks of life, different in every way, but working towards the same vision and purpose, it bonded us together, we’ve made new friends and the relationship really shone through. Everyone helped out where they could at the event so visitors can have a wonderful experience. Team-working at its best!

“There were many great moments throughout the day, but I thought that the traditional Japanese dancing and the Japanese songs performance where everyone joined in song and dance was a real bonding experience for those who were in attendance.”

Speakers at the event included the Consul General for Japan, Michael Anderson, from the Mitsubishi Motors Station Garage and Kurumi Hirooka, a Japanese exchange student from Nagasaki studying in Aberdeen.

In addition, Kitri-Du-Lac talked about keeping Geisha tradition alive into the 21st Century and Lee Morrow, a 14-year-old You Tuber, gave a talk entitled, ‘Japanese culture and how it mesmerised me’.

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Visitors enjoyed traditional and modern Japanese cultural activities including taiko drum performance, taiko drum tryouts, calligraphy, tea ceremony, a cosplay competition with prizes won for best Anime and best Crafted categories for the contestants who took part, origami, kids’ sumo, martial arts demonstrations and many more.

There was also a stamp rally competition where visitors took part and won raffle prizes, a poster competition by pupils from Airyhall primary with two trophies presented, food stalls serving Japanese and Scottish food as well as other exhibitors from local businesses and further afield.

Those who attended or anyone else who is interested can view pictures and video clips from the day at the official Japan Day Aberdeen Organisation page on Facebook.