MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Ginza Holiday 2024 will be on JULY 26, 27 & 28!

When we have more details we will post them here (the following information is from our past Ginza).

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  • When is Ginza Holiday 2023?

    • Friday August 11: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
    • Saturday August 12: 11:30 am to 8:00 pm
    • Sunday August 13: 11:30 am to 4:00 pm
  • Where is Ginza Holiday?

    • MBT Parking Lot
    • 435 W. Menomonee, Chicago 60614
  • To Enter:

    • A $5 donation is requested of each guest (no donation requested of children under 12 when accompanied by an adult)
    • Individuals under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

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  • Features of Ginza Holiday 2023

    • Our famous Charcoal-grilled Chicken Teriyaki, Udon noodles, fresh Corn on the Cob and other menu items
    • Pre-Ordering is now closed but you can still stop by our Ticket Booth
    • Waza Artisans from Japan displaying crafts handed down through generations
    • Performances on our main stage by Minyo dancers, Taiko drumming, and other groups
    • Many Asian themed Craft Vendors
    • Tours of MBT’s Chapel and brief talks about Shin Buddhism

Dining: Enjoy our delicious menu options

Our 2024 menu is not finalized but we promise it will include Chicken Teriyaki!

Entertainment (from 2023)

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Friday Aug 11

  • 7:00 MBT MINYO GROUP
  • 7:30 CHICAGO AIKIKAI
  • 8:00 MBT TAIKO GROUP

Throughout Ginza MBT's chapel will be open for viewing with members present to answer questions. Note: During the Saturday (2pm) and Sunday (1:30pm) intermissions our minister will be in the chapel to give a brief talk about Buddhism.

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Saturday Aug 12

  • 12:30 HOETSU TAIKO
  • 1:00 CHOYOKAN KENDO
  • 1:30 CHICAGO KOTO GROUP
  • 2:00 intermission (Chapel open)
  • 3:00 NA KAPUNA UKULELE
  • 3:30 MBT TAIKO
  • 4:00 CHICAGO AIKIKAI
  • 4:30 MBT MINYO
  • 5:00 intermission (Chapel open)
  • 6:00 MBT and HOETSU TAIKO

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Sunday Aug 13

  • 12:30 MBT TAIKO
  • 1:00 CHOYOKAN KENDO
  • 1:30 intermission (Chapel open)
  • 2:30 MBT MINYO
  • 3:00 HOETSU TAIKO
  • 3:30 RAFFLE DRAWING

THANK YOU!  

The MIDWEST BUDDHIST TEMPLE MINYO GROUP started in July 1965 by the temple’s nisei, or second-generation Japanese-Americans, has kept this style of Japanese folk dancing alive at the temple and devotes many hours of practice to lead MBT’s annual Obon Odori and to perform at its Ginza Holiday Festival.

Minyo is a genre of traditional Japanese folk music and dance that originally was sung and danced as people worked, the rhythms synchronizing and easing the labor physically and mentally. In addition to representing regional occupations (harvest dances, fishermen’s and
coal miner’s dances), minyo dances and songs also represent celebrations and legends of Japan.

CHOYOKAN KENDO DOJO began over 40 years ago and has 7 high level sensei (5th Degree Black Belts aka "Dan" or higher) who are instructors.  Choyokan is known for its senior level instructors and clean martial art style. Choyokan is a member of the Midwest Kendo Federation (MWKF)and affiliated with the All United States Kendo Federation (AUSKF) and the International Kendo Federation (IKF).

Kendo, the Japanese martial art of swordsmanship, is more of a self-discipline rather than a self-defense. Its practices are vigorous and demanding; the art is challenging and fun to learn. Kendo is practiced by over 2 million participants worldwide.

HO ETSU TAIKO is a premier Taiko ensemble in the Chicago area with a fresh take on the art of Japanese drumming. Ho Etsu pushes the envelope through collaborations with other taiko groups, musicians, and culturally-focused performance artists while staying grounded in the rich tradition of kumi-daiko. Through their music, Ho Etsu blends the culture of Japanese-American taiko with influences that celebrate the diversity of the ensemble.

CHICAGO AIKIKAI is an aikido dojo currently based in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. It was started in 1961 as Illinois Aikido Club in a Lakeview Clark Street basement by a group of Nisei, and since the late 1970s has been under the umbrella of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) founded by Mitsugi Saotome, Shihan (Master Instructor). Its now diverse membership is led by Chief Instructor and Dojo-cho Marsha Turner.

The MIDWEST BUDDHIST TEMPLE TAIKO GROUP was started by the Kinnara Taiko Group of Los Angeles in 1977 to bring Japanese American Buddhist Taiko to Chicago. A self-taught group, the MBT Taiko Group embraces the Buddhist concepts of harmony and oneness.

The members come from many different backgrounds and, being a temple group, make performance and participation in the Obon Odori and Ginza Holiday Festival their priorities. The drumming equipment is made by the group from wine barrels and skinned with un-tanned cowhides. The music they play is from many different sources and groups—all committed to spreading this form of artistry.

The NA KAPUNA UKULELE CLUB OF CHICAGO was formed in April, 1997 by a group of Island and Mainland senior citizens for the purpose of fellowship and the love of music.  Na Kupuna in the Hawaiian language means “grandparents” or “elders”. Together, the group of island and mainland born seniors sing, strum the ukulele and dance the hula to over 300 Hawaiian classic songs.

The group has held countless performances over the years, all across Chicago and as far as Hawaii. One of the club’s most notable performances was when the City of Chicago chose the Na Kupuna Ukulele Club to perform at the 2004 opening of Millennium Park.

The CHICAGO KOTO GROUP was founded in 1984 by Akiko Sugano in order to serve the greater Chicago community by introducing it to Japanese culture and music (Koto and Sakuhachi). They hold several public performances a year responding to requests from various organizations such as the Chicago Botanic Gardens and the Consulate General of Japan. They also serve to educate students at elementary schools and colleges about Japanese culture through music (particularly the music of the Koto).

The WAZA (from 2023)

(the slideshow depicts some Waza crafts exhibited at Ginza over the years - this year's Waza participants are introduced below)

Modern artisans mastering ancient crafts

The Midwest Buddhist Temple is honored by its long relationship with The Waza from Japan. The Waza is a federation of Japanese artisans dedicated to the continuation of traditional crafts handed down generation by generation dating back to Japan's Edo period 300 years ago. Using ancient techniques today's Waza master craftsmen create unique, handmade items that embody simple beauty through meticulous craftsmanship. Each item is carefully made through processes developed and refined over a span of centuries. And yet, every item has a timeless quality that is comforting in today's world. Ginza visitors will have the unique opportunity to purchase affordable works that are made with the same care and precision as those that are typically available only through private shops or the most exclusive department stores in Japan.

This year, we welcome back Waza ceramist Eiji Kinoshita from Kyushu Oita Prefecture, Masahiro Kawakami, a third-generation maker of tenugui (hand-painted Japanese cotton) from Asakusa Tokyo Prefecture, and Meisho Yamasaki, an award-winning Ichimatsu Ningyo (child-like dolls) artist. Making her first appearance at Ginza is calligrapher Shihoko Watanabe from Kyushu Oita Prefecture.

(click image to see gallery)

Eiji Kinoshita creates unique earthenware whose every creation is a new discovery of its own. Moving from the potter’s wheel, he became attracted to the natural beauty of stones and tiles. It is their forms that he transforms into ceramic earthenware.

(click image to see gallery)

Masahiro Kawakami is a third-generation maker of tenugui, loosely translated as towel art. However, unlike the typical western use, it could serve as a belt or a head cover. While intended to be used as hankies, towels or wrapping, many are hung as wall art—fastened to simple scrolls or framed under glass. To learn more: https://tenugui-fujiya.jp/e/

(click image to see gallery)

Meisho Yamasaki specializes in “Ichimatsu Ningyo” or “article shaped like a human being” and makes dolls with young children’s faces. Materials and techniques go back 300 years and 74 steps are necessary for a doll's completion. From a body of sawdust and rice glue, with eyes of glass followed with multi-layer coating, gives it a youthful appearance. Careful sculpturing gives it detail and brings forth an expression. A kimono made of cloth from antique clothes adds the final touch. Click to learn more: https://ichimadoll.exblog.jp/ 

(click image to see gallery)

Shihoko Watanabe blends the traditional arts of Shodo and Sumi-e to create beautiful abstract paintings. Starting with kanji characters, she adds artistic elements that result in a striking ink painting. Shodo or Japanese calligraphy starts with water and ink sticks made from hardened vegetable or pine soot. Drawings are done on washi which is traditional Japanese paper. Ms. Watanabe has been featured in gallery and museum exhibitions throughout Japan and has published a book with many of her works. This is her first visit to our Ginza Holiday.

GINZA 2023 MERCH

Stop by our BOOKSTORE/SHOPMBT Booth for a variety of offerings including Shin Buddhism literature, artifacts, and even some hard to find Japanese snacks.

This year we are also featuring our Ginza Holiday T-Shirts (adult sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL - child sizes: S, M, L).

Faded Green (back)
Faded Green (front)
Antique White (back)
Antique White (front)

You can only get these during Ginza Holiday at our BOOKSTORE/SHOPMBT BOOTH!

Local Artisans (from 2023)

For those who seek treasures to take home we have many local artisans who display and sell their works in our outdoor shopping concourse - rows of booths festively decorated with cho-chin lanterns. Shoppers can typically find hand-made jewelry, beautiful examples of Origami (the art of folded paper), ceramics for both function and display, Japanese clothing, T-shirts and much more. See our full list of participating merchants below.

FURRY FELINE CREATIVES

Humorous family-friendly toys, totes, clothing, and novelties

ARIYAMA STUDIO

Screen printed images of Chicago and T shirts with Japanese influence.

TANGERINE MOUNTAIN

New and vintage kimono, obi, haori jackets, fabric and other Japanese clothing, accessories, and kawaii items.

JAPANTIQUES

Japanese Antiques

SANSEI ARTISANS

Original sumi-e and watercolor paintings

ORIGAMI ONLY

Handmade décor in framed pictures

TOUCH OF GLASS

Asian inspired handmade glass pendants and earrings. We also have handmade/hand decorated Asian inspired craft items (Hair Sticks, Cake Testers, Tissue Holders, Coasters, etc)

SNLDESIGNZ / SANSEI ARTISANS

Japanese inspired clothing, scarves, furoshiki, jewelry, kitchen items

SUMOFISH

Fun and unique t-shirts and decals rooted in Japanese and Hawaiian culture

TRAN HANDCRAFTS

Handmade purses, messenger bags, pouches and accessories made from Japanese fabrics

FLYING PLUMTREE STUDIO

Unique handmade Ojizo statues, Chawans, Teapots and teacups, and Japanese styletableware.

EDO WOODBLOCKS

Antique Japanese Woodblock Prints. Ukiyo-e prints from the Edo and Meiji Periods.

ENTROPYWARE

Bold and dramatic jewelry

SHINSEN

Japanese black ink calligraphy

ART TOWATA CERAMICS

Art Towata was a prolific master potter who for many years delighted Ginza Holiday audiences with his interesting and humorous demonstrations. And each year Ginza visitors lined up to purchase his beautiful work. Although Mr. Towata is no longer with us, this year we are happy to have the Estate of Art Towata participating in Ginza to make some of his beautiful work available for purchase.

Ginza Supporters

We thank the following businesses for their support!

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AT GINZA IN AUGUST 2024!