On the Ginza Stage
At Ginza Holiday visitors are treated to stage performances that educate, entertain, and excite the senses. Audiences will enjoy the serene beauty of Minyo Folk dance, the thunderous rhythms of Taiko drumming, and the action of Martial Arts. On Saturday evening we offer a special musical set blending Japanese Folk music, Jazz, and Chicago Blues performed by Yoko Noge and her Japanesque Band. To view our 2016 performance schedule please visit our Stage Schedule page.
We are proud that some groups performing at Ginza are actually part of the temple so you may recognize a few of the artists as they volunteer their efforts at the festival. Here is a brief description of recent groups that have performed on our Ginza stage.
Midwest Buddhist Temple Minyo Group: Minyo is a form of Japanese folk dance originating in the villages of Japan’s countryside. Watching the graceful movements and colorful kimonos audiences will recognize the theme of each dance; harvesting crops, pulling fishing nets or other village celebrations. The MBT Minyo Group is the longest continuously performing group on the Ginza Stage.
- Kokushikan Judo Academy
- Choyokan Kendo Dojo
- Oak Park Aikikai (Aikido)
- Midwest Aikido Federation
Midwest Buddhist Temple Taiko Group: Since the late 1970s the MBT Taiko Group has been performing at Ginza. Initially taught by Kinnara Taiko of Los Angeles as a way to bring Japanese American Buddhist taiko to Chicago, today MBT Taiko continues to practice and perform for Temple events such as Obon Odori and Ginza Holiday.
Ho Etsu Taiko: Ho Etsu Taiko is a collective of musicians with a fresh take on the art of Japanese drumming. While respecting taiko’s rich traditions, Ho Etsu Taiko pioneers collaborations that push the envelope with other taiko groups and musicians of different genres. From their beginning as a Dharma School activity in the 1990s, Ho Etsu Taiko has developed into a dynamic performing ensemble. Visit their website to learn more – www.hoetsu.org.
Martial Arts: Demonstrations of Martial Arts are always exciting to witness. We have been fortunate to have a long association with several ‘dojos’ that have provided entertainment and education to our audiences.
Na Kupuna Ukelele Group: The Na Kupuna Ukelele Group performs traditional Hawaiian Ukelele music complete with Hula dancing. This group of energetic ‘seniors’ brings enthusiasm and fun to the Ginza stage.
The Chicago Koto Group: (new Ginza 2016 performer) The “Koto” is a unique and beautiful Japanese string instrument. The Chicago Koto Group was founded in 1985 by Akiko Sugano in order to promote Japanese culture through traditional music and art. It has been active in the Chicago area ever since, performing during the year at festivals and other events.
Yoko Noge & Jazz Me Blues Band: Ginza continues into Saturday evening with Yoko Noge’s performance. Yoko’s music can be described as a combination of Japanese ”Minyo” folk music with “Chicago blues and Jazz.” Performed with electric piano, horn section, and Yoko’s sweet and growly blues vocals, the Jazz Me Blues ensemble will warm the August night at their return appearance at Ginza. Same as last year, the band features the legendary Jazz musicians such as Jimmy Ellis, Bugs Cochran and Bill McFarland. Visit Yoko’s website to learn more – www.yokonoge.com. Yoko’s show is a special set only on Saturday evening between 8:00pm and 9:30pm.
More examples of performances on the Ginza stage:
(Performers identified on this page are from recent Ginza Holiday Festivals. Some performers for 2016 may be subject to change.)