Forrest Place to Become a Japanese Cultural Hub for Festival

Perth Japan Festival chair Chiharu Fukumoto performed as a kendo master at last year’s festival, which attracted 15,000 people.
Perth Japan Festival chair Chiharu Fukumoto performed as a kendo master at last year’s festival, which attracted 15,000 people.

FORREST Place will transform into a Japanese cultural hub on Saturday for the third annual Perth Japan Festival.

From 11am to 6pm, an array of martial artists, chefs, dancers and musicians will perform for Perth crowds in a multi-faceted display of Japanese culture.

Not only does Chiharu Fukumoto chair the event, he is also a kendo master (a Japanese fencer) who will perform a demonstration on stage.

“As traditional artists, the maiko (apprentice geishas) will be performing traditional dance, instruments, tea ceremony and flower arranging as part of the festival program,” Mr Fukumoto said.

“Performances such as these are very exclusive in Japan so this will be an excellent opportunity for Perth people to experience such a unique aspect of Japanese culture.”

Mr Fukumoto said there were people of many different backgrounds living in Perth and he wanted people to enjoy what the event had to offer.

“Whether they are Chinese, Malaysian or European, I wish that all the people who came to the festival could take home a piece of Japanese culture,” Mr Fukumoto said.

“Rather than just go there to eat the food and watch the performances, I want people to take some of the culture back to their families.

First time Perth visitors, five dancers from Kyoto and eight samurais from Hyogo will demonstrate their skills as well as local talent from Perth’s Japanese community.

Performers will play music with traditional instruments and chefs will create a giant sushi roll at the festival.

“We also have a corporate event which symbolises the good relationship between Australia and Japan,” Mr Fukumoto said.

Perth Consul-General of Japan Masanobu Yosshi, Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan are set to kick off proceedings.