2017 Matsuri Report

This year's Japanese Cultural Festival is probably going to be one for the books. Who would have guessed that we'd wake up to the worst snow of the season the day of the event? It was certainly a setback, but our warrior spirits prevailed. Nearly every act was able to perform, guests were able to attend and enjoy themselves, food was delicious, vendors had great wares, and we all did our best to make the best of it.

The dust has now settled, and the impact of the weather is now known. Admissions were down, way down. Normally we see 2,500 to 3,000 guests. This year we saw 1,100 guests. As a result, most everything else was down, including finances. We ended in the red on this festival, which is highly unusual for us. It's not a complete disaster, but enough to put us back on our heels for 2018 programming. We're going to have to dig in hard to reach out for funding to help keep things afloat. More on this as we move into summer.

Even with the less-than-desired weather, I have some great memories to take with me from this matsuri and I hope you do too. The performances were great, especially the taiko. We had some new and exciting approaches to food, and many were able to see kamishibai (story telling) for the first time thanks to our guests from Japan.

I want to take a quick moment to thank everyone who makes this festival possible...

To our Guests, with whom we enjoy sharing our love and appreciation of Japanese culture through the festival.

To our Board which puts countless hours of effort into managing and creating the festival.

To our Volunteers who actually make the magic happen for our guests every minute of the festival.

To our Performers who dedicate themselves to excellence and putting the best performance possible on stage for our guests.

To our Vendors who play a huge part in helping us afford the costs of hosting the festival.

Please stay tuned for news on upcoming events in our summer programming, including our annual picnic in July and our rapidly growing Bon Odori event in August.

Thank you,

Casey Janes

President, Santa Fe JIN

Japan Festival 2017 Countdown

The Santa Fe JIN's 2017 Japanese Cultural Festival is less than two months away! Members and volunteers have been busy making all sorts of preparations for the big day.

The event is April 29, 2017 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Doors open at 9:30 AM.

Volunteers needed! We need volunteers for a huge variety of tasks to make this event work! Check the online application and volunteer today. Be part of another successful event. The volunteer application is available at:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Volunteer Applications Available Soon

Volunteer applications for the 2017 Japan Festival will be available on the JIN website by the end of January. A notification will be sent out when the application is ready. It will be necessary to fill out the application if you want to volunteer, so please keep an eye out for the notification!

We will need many volunteers before and during the main event on April 29, so please sign up if you will be able to help in any way. If you have any questions, please email volunteer coordinator Ann Hamer at

Matsuri 2017


Next year's Matsuri date is determined! Please mark your calendar.

Matsuri 2017: Saturday, April 29th, 2016. It will be at the Convention Center.

Matsuri 2016 Video link


The shorter version of Matsuri 2016 video is up now.

You can view the video at Youtube :
Or at our website : Go to Japan Festival and choose 2016.

Japan Festival Report

Thank you all for making this year's Santa Fe Japanese Cultural Festival a huge success! We had more than 2500 visitors, over 130 volunteers, and over 30 vendors in attendance. We visited 50+ classrooms beforehand educating students about the kabuki theme and working on mask-making projects. We gave 7 scholarships worth a total of $1800. The stage performance and all the booths were busy and lively all day long. The Japanese delegation group enjoyed themselves talking to visitors who are truly interested in Japan. Many free raffle prizes were given throughout the day.

Particular thanks to the chairs of each sections, who worked really hard in the past month or longer.

  • Matsuri director, booth vendor and contact to the convention center: Casey
  • Treasurer: Gloria
  • Art direction for the stage: Kayoko
  • Stage setup: Jon
  • Graphic and general design: Sharon
  • Stage and kabuki display decoration and cosplay: Jaye
  • Signage, volunteer organization, raffle: Ann, Carl
  • School project: Iba
  • Kitchen and food sales: Keiko, Minori
  • Kitchen prep: DJ, Mildred
  • JIN sales: Dee,
  • Admission and transport: Susan
  • Scholarship: Tom, Rose, Stephen
  • Communication with CCA and hotel arrangement for the performers: Ellen
  • MC: Stephen
  • Moving truck: Michael
  • Board meeting consulting: Don
  • Kids' area: Beth
  • Radio communication: Sue

There were also a couple of people who could not be there due to sickness or injury, etc. Their spirit and intentions were there at the convention center. We are sending good thoughts to you for a quick recovery.

2016 Japan Festival Stage Schedule

The stage schedule is included below as an image file and is also available as a PDF. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Matsuri Volunteers Still Needed!

We still need your help preparing for the 2016 Japan Festival this month! If you are able to volunteer any time before or during the event, please sign up to help. Any amount is good. We will be able to find a way for you to contribute. Contact Ann Hamer at 505-984-1129 or to sign up. Thank you!

Please Volunteer for Matsuri

We need more volunteers for the Japan Festival on April 15 and 16! We have a successful reputation and need to make this event another success. Please help where you can in the following areas:

  • Friday, April 15: food preparation
  • Thursday–Saturday, April 14–16: Transportation of items between storage and Convention Center
  • Saturday, April 16: Admissions, food booth, JIN booth, kids' area, raffle prize table and odd jobs.

If you can contribute, please call Ann Hamer at (505)984-1129. If there is no answer, please leave a message or email her at .

Chado New Mexico is also looking for volunteers to help with the tea ceremony at the Festival. If you can help, please contact Kate Shane at (505)470-9448.

Matsuri 2014 Video

Huge thanks to everyone who participated in the 2014 Japan Festival! We had a lot of fun. Check out the thank-you letter from our president Satori and a few photos from the festival in the April 2014 Newsletter. The video summary is available below.

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