Japan Day


First of its kind in Arlington County, “Japan Day” is a one-day culture event with hands-on experiences of Japanese arts, food and music. It features live performances and demonstrations such as Kendama, Origami, Karate, Ryukyu Eisaa (drums and dance), cosplay and anime. Collaborating with local Japanese businesses, information booths showcase world class technologies and engineering as well as Japanese culinary culture. Promoting Japanese language among high school students, it provides Japanese study help. The event also commemorates a newly formed sister school relationship between Arlington Career Center and the Engei High School of Setagaya, Tokyo. The event is endorsed by the Embassy of Japan.

Program List

Program Highlight



Modern Japanese go to writing tools are pens and pencils. But the art of shodo (calligraphy), where an ink-dipped brush is used artistically to create Chinese characters, called “kanji” and Japanese “kana” characters, remains a traditional part of Japan’s culture. Works of calligraphy are admired for the accurate composition of their characters, of course, but also for the way the brush is handled in their creation, the shading of the ink, and the balanced placement of the characters on the paper. Japan Day features a calligraphy master, Satomi Shoko Chinen, to perform this ancient art in her unique beautiful and dynamic style using a jumbo brush.


From complete novice to crafty hands, origami brings fun and enjoyment for anyone. Come marveled at complicated, masterful creation from a simple square paper. Just folding. No cutting, no glue, no scissors. Paper, hands and imagination. You can try your self and see what you can create.


Do you love Totoro? Spirited Away? How beloved films by Hayao Miyazaki reflect Shinto-ism? Rev. Kanawa highlight elements, themes and background stories that reflect ideas and beliefs of Shintoism depicted in various popular Japanese amine.


“Kendama” is a traditional hand-held toy long enjoyed in Japan by people of all ages.  “Kendama” is typically made of wood and comprises of these parts: a base stick with a pointer and a cup at each end, two side cups, and a ball with a small hole.  The ball is connected to the base with a string of roughly 40 centimeters (16 inches) or so. The basic play is to hold the base in one hand and swing the ball upward, and attempt to catch it in one of the three cups or to spear it with the point of the base stick.  There are number of more advanced tricks which include sequential catches, balances, juggles and others. Nowadays, there are competitions held in Japan and overseas over various tricks.  “Kendama” is attracting popularity beyond Japan. You can try it at Japan Day.


Eisa (Okinawan: エイサー Eisaa) is a form of folk dance originating from the Okinawa IslandsJapan. In origin, it is a Bon dance that is performed by young people of each community during the Bon festival to honor the spirits of their ancestors. It underwent drastic changes in the 20th century and is today seen as a vital part of Okinawan culture.


Cosplay, a portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Come meet with Sailor Moon and her Sailor Guardians, as they show how they fight to protect the universe from forces of evil and total annihilation.

Hands-on Activities, Workshops, and more!

Experience the tea ceremony, learn about how to make rice balls and learn lessons behind rice balls (you have to come and find out). Try origami and calligraphy. You will be thrilled to launch your own plastic rocket hit the moon. Learn what Hayabusa 2 project is all about and cool technologies behind bullet train, Shinkansen.

Want to learn Japanese? Waited too long to improve your Japanese? Interested in studying in Japan or seeking advice on trip to your first visit to Japan? Local community information on free classes, enrichment programs, professional services available. Also, representatives of several Japanese Universities will be present happily to assist you with any questions on bilingual or English-degree programs, scholarship information and more.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – Parking at Arlington Career Center

Japan Day has generated much excitement and we expect a great turnout. The event site, Arlington Career Center, has a limited parking space. Please be mindful and use car-pooling, ride-sharing and public transportation (Metro Bus 10B). When you drive, please budget extra time to look for street parking around the site. There are some restricted areas in the neighborhood. Please study beforehand the designated categories for local streets in the map below.