Monday, October 20, 2014

Thursday, 25 September 2014 08:43

Events at the Japanese Friendship Garden

  JFG New Logo
October 12, 2014
Media Contact: Mary Murphy-Bessler, Executive Director
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix lnc.
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GAKU-MC, Akali to Live Concert

Connecting hearts with candles and music

Recording artist, GAKU-MC from Tokyo, Japan will perform live at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix to benefit and bring rays of hope to the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami survivors. The devastating earthquakes and tsunami resulted in the loss of more than 18,000 people.

 GAKU-MC involves his audience to create a candle-lit, intimate live concert and delivers messages he gathered from his performances around the globe to the people in Tohoku to show that the world supports their resilience and rebuilding efforts.

The audiences can participate in writing messages to the survivors in Japan on a candleholder for a $5 donation. The candleholders will be brought back to Japan by GAKU-MC, all proceeds will be donated to the project.


For further understanding and education about the devastation caused by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, photos will be displayed on the pathway when you enter the garden.


This unique opportunity to hear a celebrated artist from Japan supporting relief efforts overseas is not to be missed.


Date: Saturday, November 8 2014

Time: 7:30pm - 9:00pm (gate opens at 7:00pm)

Tickets:$15.00 Students with ID / $20 General

Tickets are available online and at the gate


For further details of this event and to purchase your ticket go to:  


Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix presents: GAKU-MC akali to live
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix presents: GAKU-MC akali to live


GAKU-MC Biography


   GAKU-MC has been active as an artist since 1990, when he formed the band EASTEND, a Japanese hip hop group. The band was the first rapping band ever to perform at the Kohaku Uta Gassen, an annual music show produced by Japan's national public broadcasting organization. From 1999, he has transitioned from a band music to solo acts, establishing his own label, Rap+Entertainment. He has since transformed his musical style from Japanese hip hop to an acoustic sound with positive messages, focusing more on performing live concerts involving the audience.

   After the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, he started a relief project "Akali to Live," collecting support messages for the survivors from around the world to show that the world has not forgotten about the tragedy and the aftermath.

   He is an avid soccer fan, composing the official World Cup 2014 theme song for Japan. His other main project is called MIFA (Music Interacts Football for All), an organization which gives youth opportunities to communicate with each other through music and playing soccer. He has also written a book on his interviews with various people representing a diversity of careers, asking them the question "What would you do if the world ends tonight?" An active philanthropist, he continues to work alongside various nonprofits to spread positivity around the globe.

Thank you for your consideration to publish this wonderful event in your publication!
Please call our office if you have any questions (602.256.3204). 
Point of Pride


Please click here to visit the Japanese Friendship Garden website. 



Published in Activities
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 09:11

Through Each Others Eyes

from left are Paula West, Michiyo Fujimori, Hiroko Tokai, Janice Marshall, Alice Wells, Francie Rink, and Errol Zimmerman.


Michiyo Fujimori and Hiroko Tokai are members of the Himeji Soroptimist Club, and Alice Wells of Phoenix, an educator and chair of Soroptimist Clubs in Arizona, twice visited Michiyo in Japan.  This year Michiyo and Hiroko traveled to Phoenix to participate in a Soroptimist fundraiser February 23, and during their Phoenix stay they visited the Through Each Others Eyes anniversary exhibit at Phoenix City Hall.

Michiyo is a photographer and married to Hisayoshi Fujimori, a member of the Himeji International Photographic Society which has worked with the photographers of Through Each Others Eyes™ for the past 25 years.  When Janice Marshall and Francie Rink traveled to Himeji in 1994 with a TEOE delegation, they were hosted on many activities by Michiyo and her husband.

Errol Zimmerman is the president of Through Each Others Eyes™ and has visited Himeji more than 20 times.


Through Each Others Eyes™ held its first exhibit February 22, 1988, as an art exchange with Phoenix’ sister city of Himeji, Japan. Since that time the photographers of Through Each Others Eyes™ have sponsored 38 photographic exchanges with photographers, not only in Japan, but in Mexico, Cuba, Canada, China, the Philippines, Ireland, Scotland, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

Exhibits of photographs are held in Arizona and the cities abroad, and more than two million people worldwide have attended TEOE exhibits.



Published in Activities
Monday, 24 February 2014 00:00

Arizona Matsuri 2014: A Festival of Japan

The Arizona Matsuri celebrated a successful 30th year anniversary this past weekend! 



Published in Activities
Saturday, 16 March 2013 15:31

2012 Matsuri Festival

Matsuri Festival


 The Phoenix Sister Cities Himeji Committee manned the soda and water booth at Matsuri.


There were spectacular demonstrations of how to make Mochi/Omochi, which was the theme of the festival.


 Many festival-goers enjoyed the freshly made mochi.


 Many people participated in Cosplay at Matsuri.


 The festival featured many Taiko drum performances by organizations such as All Arizona Taiko Team, Phoenix Taiko Kai, Saboten Taiko, Shojin Taiko, and many others.


The festival also featured many martial arts demonstrations from organizations such as Ryushinkan Dojo, Kinshin Dojo, and many others.


Many people came to participate in the traditional Matsuri parade.


from left to right: Kelly Moeur, Honorable Consul General of Japan; Paula West, Executive Director of Phoenix Sister Cities; Consul General Jun Niimi, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles;  Masako Takiguchi; David Cavazos, City Manager of Phoenix


Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos and Consul General Jun Niimi, Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, exchange gifts as a sign of the good relations between Phoenix and Himeji.

Published in Activities