The Japanese Society of Auckland has been fostering friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and New Zealand since 1989.
Initiated to encourage and increase connections among its members, the Society also organises festivals and events to celebrate and promote Japanese culture in Auckland, the place where approximately 9,000 people of Japanese descent call home. The largest of these events is the annual Japan Day, giving the Japanese community a chance to showcase its cultural heritage, and providing opportunities for visitors to experience a taste of Japan in an interactive way.
Japan Day blends traditional and modern Japanese culture expressed through performance art and exhibition, with some of the artists travelling from Japan especially for the occasion. With a strong ‘have-a-go’ flavour, Japan Day promotes visitor participation, and to close the event a communal ‘Bon-Dance’ takes place where performers and visitors come together “to take away all the difference among us” – the true spirit of Japan Day.
“Japan Day is the largest Japanese cultural festival in New Zealand showcasing Japanese art and culture. Foundation North has helped the Japanese Society of Auckland over the last ten years to hold this annual event, covering the cost of venue hire. The 17th Japan Day was held at Queens Wharf, where visitors could enjoy a taste of Japan through experiencing authentic Japanese culture. The event attracted a record number of 60,000 visitors during the weekend.”
- Naoe Hashimoto, Chair of the Japanese Society of Auckland