“Omatsuri” is a famous summer festival in Japan held in worship of Buddha or gods. On Saturday, the DePauw J-club hosted the Japanese Spring Festival in the UB Ballroom, a spring version of Omatsuri.
The event was organized to promote Japanese culture and bring good vibes to the DePauw community in the spirit of Little 5, according to Saki Yoshida, vice president of J-club.
“We really just wanted everyone to have fun while spreading more knowledge about Japanese culture. We prepared two traditional Japanese games with Yakisoba noodles and some snacks for students,” Yoshida said. She thought the festival would be a great opportunity for students to get together and have some time to relax before the semester ends.
One of the games is called “Yo-Yo Tsuri,” also known as yo-yo fishing. Basically, players have to scoop a water balloon from a basin using a string made of paper with a hook attached to the end. “In order to win, you need to be careful and quick enough since the string can be ripped easily and the balloons are heavy,” Treasurer of J-club Ayu Takayanagi said.
“The event is a very great opportunity to learn about food, culture, and Japanese people. Back in Virginia, I only met two Japanese at my school. After transferring to DePauw, I became friends with so many Japanese students, and I really enjoy the good vibes as well as the cultural diversity that DePauw provides,” Bajy Enkhbold, a senior majoring in Economics, said.
Junior Sabrina Contaldi added, “It’s very cool seeing many of the international students and domestic students coming together to enjoy good food, fun games, and getting to know more people. After the pandemic, it’s very important to rebuild that sense of community.”
Takayanagi also considered the event an opportunity for her to feel more connected to her country as she is far away from home. “It took us around five hours to prepare for everything. I’m happy to see everyone enjoying themselves and I’m glad that J-club could put this event together,” Takayanagi said.