In early September, the 11th annual Aki Matsuri, Japanese Fall Festival, was hosted at Bellevue College. Japan seemingly came to life at BC between Sept. 6 and 7; the event offered a variety of games, auctions, shops and information. It was a two day program that occupied a majority of campus, spanning from the Carlson Theatre to the gym, Aki Matsuri offered educational information regarding international studies, abroad programs, Bellevue’s sister cities and briefed visitors on Buddhism, welcoming them to come learn more.
With more than 60 entertainment and informational exhibits and booths, the festival contained traditional Japanese food stands, fishing games for kids, dress up, tea ceremony demonstrations in the tea house and a vast “Nomi-no-ichi,”a Japanese flea market, to browse through. There was also a room dedicated to manga and anime swapping where no purchases were allowed. Japanese folk tales were shared, martial arts were performed for an audience and art and jewelry were displayed and sold.
Aki Matsuri was an all-encompassing Japanese cultural display that shared with visitors a taste of the rich Japanese history, cultural, music and art as well as offering a modern twist by incorporating Japanese-American art into the event and opportunities to connect to students of other cultural backgrounds.