Sachiko Tsunoda-Bedford comes from Yatsushiro city, Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan and made the move to Washington, DC in 2013. Since coming to the US she’s been going to English classes, volunteering, making friends, and contributing to the JETAADC blog.
Shinshun Matsuri, the Japanese New Year’s Celebration, was held at Washington Plaza Hotel on Sunday January 26. It was sponsored by the Japanese Commerce Association of Washington, DC (JCAW). The celebration started on stage with a Taiko performance by Kizuna Taiko group and more than 10 other performances followed. There were three side rooms where you could enjoy various aspects of Japanese culture such as Calligraphy, Origami and Kendama. There were long lines to get the delicious Japanese food at the food court. Everyone enjoyed freshly made Mochi, Bento, Nikuman and Takoyaki.
At the middle of the festival, the JETAADC members had a Marubatsu Game. It involved asking true or false questions that were related to Japan and the JET Program. About 30 people of all ages participated, enjoyed the game and played two rounds. The last five people remaining won prizes like Japanese snacks and candies. It was a nice change from their usual Karaoke contest!