Japan Knight educates on culture through traditional cuisine, performance

Students, faculty and public attendees filled the MacVittie College Union Ballroom on Saturday Oct. 29 for the annual Japan Knight. The Japanese Culture Club hosted this event with the support of Student Association, Alliance for Community Enrichment, Campus Auxiliary Services and advisor and professor of chemistry Kazushige Yokoyama. Tickets sold for $6 to $8 and included a Japanese meal in addition to an evening full of entertainment.

The night began with over 100 people filing into the ballroom dressed in their best Halloween costumes in the spirit of Halloween weekend. A full menu of Japanese cuisine was served, including delicious white rice, miso soup, karaage—which is fried chicken—Japanese croquettes, string beans with sesame and coffee jelly to top it off for dessert. The tables were nicely decorated in red and the room buzzed with conversation and laughter.

After dinner was served, students in the Japanese Cultural Club performed various music and dance routines. There was a modern dance, traditional dance, Gashadokuro—otherwise known as a skeleton dance—and perfect human dance that the audience clearly enjoyed.

“I was part of the skeleton dance and modern dance ‘Fever,’” early childhood education major freshman Arisa Tanai said. “[Psychology major sophomore] Chika Gayton and [communication major senior] Leah Collazo put in so much of their time and energy into the routine. I’m glad it turned out so well.”

In addition to the music and dance performances, there was also a student directed skit and fashion show. The club’s vice president and English major senior Giovanni Madonna wrote the play about a student named Shirma—played by English major sophomore Aidan Koch—who had to complete a summer assignment with a girl named Rei, played by international relations major freshman Maryn Chielewski. Throughout the summer, they begin to have feelings for each other.

Members of the 50-person Japanese Culture Club performed other characters in the play. Attendees laughed throughout the two-part skit and gave a huge round of applause at the end. Members spent over two hours every weekend practicing their performances and planning for the event over the past month and a half.

“What I enjoyed most were the weekly rehearsals,” Tanai said. “We laughed about how the dances were too sexy for us or ‘how to do a body roll 101.’ I felt like I was able to bond with great people and I’m glad to have been a part of Japan Knight 2016.”

Overall, the night was full of delicious Japanese cuisine and entertainment. Whether performing or just organizing, all the club members worked well in pulling together a successful and fun event for all who were involved.