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Cultural Panels


Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese Tea Ceremony panel is a demonstration of the Ryakubon ceremony, a traditional Japanese thin tea ceremony. The panel will also include a discussion on the history of tea in Japan, and the origins of the ceremony, its symbolism, and its roots in Zen. Li Izumi studied the tea ceremony in Akita, Japan and has been hosting the Japanese Tea Ceremony panel with Akiko at various conventions since 2004. Note: This is by far our most popular panel. It has been performed to standing room only crowds year after year. We’ve had participants drive from Canada to see us, and we even had a proposal at our panel! Special needs: Clear floor space or an elevated stage. Live Video Projection needed at larger cons.


Kimono & Yukata
A demonstration of how to properly put on Kimono and Yukata, including how to tie the obi. In addition, we will discuss the differences between Kimono and Yukata and Japanese ideals of beauty. We will talk about how to make your own Yukata, including where to find patterns and fabric choices. Li Izumi studied how to properly put on a Kimono (a nearly hour long process) in Akita, Japan. Akiko Meigetsu and Li Izumi have sewn their own Yukata and Kimono


Asian Brush Painting
An interactive demonstration of the brush techniques used in Calligraphy and Asian Brush Painting (in Japan, Sumi-e). We will relate painting to the meditation process and the history of these techniques, the roots of which originated in China. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to create their own brush paintings. Special needs: Workshop room with table space (no tablecloths!).


Written Japanese
An introduction to the Japanese written language, including the differences between the three main writing systems, its history and development from its Chinese origins. After the initial discussion, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the Japanese written language. Special needs: Dry Erase Board or Computer Projection


Introduction to Jrock
An introduction to some of the big names in Japanese rock music. We will discuss and watch promotional videos and interviews from artists such as Gackt, L'arc en Ciel, Buck-tick, Pierrot, Penicillin, Malice Mizer, and more. Li Izumi has been interested in, and following the rock scene from Japan for more years than we will admit. Special Needs: computer projection


Obon Matsuri Dance
Japanese dance is more than just ParaPara. Obon Matsuri dances are traditional folk dances related to the Obon Festival. Participants will have the opportunity to learn some of these dances.


Poetry of Izumi Shikibu
Discover the wit, talent, and beauty of the famously scandalous Heian poet, Izumi Shikibu. Hear readings of her 10/11thcentury classic waka-style poems and their translations by Li Izumi.


Translating Anime and Manga
What gets lost in translation when anime and manga are released in America? Translating is an artform, a fine balancing act between the literal and the concept of each line.


A Taste of Tea
Learn about the different types of tea. Discover tips for the best brewing, and take the opportunity to taste-test the teas discussed.