Overview of Hutt Japan Day 2017

Hutt Japan Day 2017 was held at the Dowse Art Museum and Square on Sunday 19th November 2017. It had been announced by the Mayor at the previous year's biennial Japan Festival in the TSB Arena, that Lower Hutt would host a smaller festival in the in-between years. It was a beautiful, hot day and it involved market stalls inside the Dowse venue, two performance stages (inside the Dowse and outside in the Square), a food truck fair, skype window to our sister city in Minoh-shi and the amazing travelling photo booth. Nearly 3,000 people attended this event which was much more than anticipated and really showed a hunger for more cultural activities of this nature in the Lower Hutt Central Business District.

We are extremely grateful to the Hutt City Council for their Event Support Funding as well as Air New Zealand who kindly sponsored two free return flights to Osaka.

 Mukume Taiko Group

Mukume Taiko Group

ASIAN Food truck Rally (Dowse Square)

The Hutt Japan Day 2017 was scheduled on the same day as the Toast Martinborough festival, which limited options for numerous food trucks however we were extremely grateful to the following providers who were busy all day providing Japanese street food and other Asian delicacies: GOGO Takoyaki; Matsuda Shouten Japanese food truck; Mao & Co Homemade Noodles & Dumplings; Onebites Indonesian Foodtruck; JETAA Wellington & their Taiyaki machine.

MIni-MArket Stalls (DOwse art museum)

Inside the Dowse Art Museum was a mini-market with Japanese stalls promoting their services or selling their wares to the public. These included: Air New Zealand; Kusadama Creations; Saisei- Upcycled Japanese Vintage; FineLine Press; EcloArt By Emy Oikawa; Wrap16; Neko Japanese handicrafts; Japan Information and Cultural Centre, Embassy of Japan in NZ; Japan Society of Wellington; Sister Cities New Zealand; Wellington Omotesenke Tea Ceremony Club; Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR); Hutt Minoh House Friendship Trust.

Martial Arts Demonstrations (DOwse Square & Grounds)

Throughout the day visitors were entertained by a wide variety of martial arts groups from the Hutt valley region. These included: Kyudo Wellington (Japanese Archery); Hutt City Aikido; Wellington Region Karate Academy; Yoshinkan Kendo; Wellington Iaido and  Wellington Naginata.

Japanese Cultural STAGE Performances (dowse Art Museum)

There were two stages on the day, both inside the Dowse Art Museum and outside. The inside stage was for Japanese cultural music and dance performances. These included: Na-Na-Mi Trio; "Genki Kids" choir from the Wellington Japanese Supplementary school;  Koten Dance Group; the Upper Hutt Kizuna project. As well as three different Taiko groups: Narukami Taiko group, who also ran a successful workshop for our festival and opened our proceedings; Taikoza Wellington, who concluded our event for us and Mukume Taiko group, who played in the middle part of the day.

Travelling photo Booth & Win a trip to osaka Prize (dowse Art Museum)

The biggest prize of the day was the opportunity to win a trip for two to Osaka, generously provided by Air New Zealand.  Festival goers were encouraged to take a selfie photo with Minoh-shi's mascot Yuzuru and upload it to social media with the hashtag #huttjapanday.  Those who didn't have social media accounts were entered into the competition by the Amazing Travelling Photo Booth who were on-site all day. Our winner was drawn from all the entries a few days later on our Facebook page.