Come and enjoy a weekend filled with many activities at Japan Fair 2016. Japan Fair picks up where Aki Matsuri ended at Bellevue College. The Japan Fair Committee was created in March of this year to continue the legacy of the Nikkei Community on the East Side. We want to be able to tell our descendants the story of Japanese Cultural Heritage and how it is a part of a valuable Nikkei contribution to our great nation. We feel the obligation to leave this legacy for our children.
With the work the committee faced for this annual event preparation, the committee is humbled at the dedication and sacrifice that Tom and Katsuko Brooke have contributed over the last 18 years of Aki Matsuri. I am proud that he is a member of the Nisei Veteran Committee.
The Aki Matsuri that Tom administered involved hundreds of people to produce -- all volunteers. Japan Fair did not have the time to line up so many volunteers, but we too are all volunteers who administer the many tasks not contracted with Meydenbauer Center. I am very proud of the dedication and energy of Japan Fair volunteers who support the committee philosophy to preserve and promote the Nikkei legacy for posterity.
Japan Fair 2016 is being held at Meydenbauer Center due to their ability to accommodate with setup, teardown, parking and services. With a shortage of time to enlist volunteers for those functions, the Committee felt fortunate to have found this venue. The budget is higher at Meydenbauer, but the Committee is very optimistic that its central Bellevue shopping location and proximity to The Bellevue Transit Center will enable easier access for visitors and community members. Japan Fair is free to all visitors, and we offer free parking on Saturday and Sunday. We only hope that visitors will buy enough concessions at the event. We offer discount pre-sale Obento and a chance for a raffle with pre-sales available.
As at Aki Matsuri, there are many Japanese artists and craftsman. Nikkei Community organizations like the Nisei Veterans Committee and NVC Foundation, Keiro NW, JACL and JCCCW are sponsoring as well as participating. There will be a Sakura-Con fashion contest, a Japanese Haunted House, Japan Rail Way Company booth (best known for its Bullet Trains), NHK/TV Japan, and many other companies doing business with Japan. These organizations represent the evolving traditions and trends of modern Japan.
The Committee hopes that Japan Fair will become an annual Nikkei event on the East Side. This is the first year and we seek community participation and feedback.