2018 Performers

​JapanFest is proud to showcase a variety of traditional and contemporary performers from all around the United States and Japan. Please see below to learn more about our performers from this year's festival.

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A JapanFest regular back again!

Yoshi Amao and his troupe of martial arts performers are back again to share their humor and power with JapanFest. 

​Come see them perform on 3 different stages or join a workshop to learn more about the samurai swordsmanship!

We are very excited to welcome the famous Noh-Kyogen performers of Nomura Kyogen Group from Nagoya Japan. 

Kyogen is a traditional performing art that developed alongside Noh theater. While Noh is solemn, Kyogen is comical.

Led by Matasaburo Nomura the 14th, this will be the group's American debut! 

We are excited to share this unique Japanese art form with the audience at JapanFest. Come and welcome Nomura Kyogen Group!

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Shamisen Duo from California via Japan is sure to amaze and inspire again!

Award-winning player of the traditional Japanese shamisen, Kyle is excited to be back at JapanFest. He will share his passion, his knowledge and his enthusiasm for this unique and beautiful instrument. He is planning some surprises for his performance!

Back for a 2nd year by popular demand!

Motoko delights her audience with her stories, her voice, and hand movements alone. This is the traditional art of Rakugo storytelling, which uses the most minimal of props to convey an often funny story.


Her ghost stories were also a huge hit last year, so be sure not to miss her, on the Main Stage and also in the intimate workshop room for her ghost stories.


Motoko will also be available on the Theme Street teaching how to fold paper cranes.

For the love of Taiko!

​The ever-popular Matsuriza are back for another year of JapanFest.

Come and feel the energy of the taiko drumming, a popular element of summer festivals throughout Japan. 


They will be offering workshops right after their performances on both days. If you have ever wanted to try a taiko drum, here is your chance to be taught by a master!

Making their JapanFest debut with the captivating Kagura dance!

Iwami-Kagura, a well known folk performing art from Iwami region in Shimane prefecture in Japan.  Kagura means "god's enjoyment" so this is a religious performance for dedicating to god with history of several hundreds years.


The performance uses three big serpents hand-made by Japanese Sekishu-washi paper and bamboo along with the live musicians with Japanese traditional instruments.  

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