2018 Oita Japan Festival Performers
PEELANDER-Z, the Japanese Action Comic Punk Band based in NYC, was originally formed in 1998, after meeting in New York City (although they’ll tell you they’re all from the Z area on the planet Peelander).
The band has been covered by SPIN, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, NPR and The Onion among many others.
At its live shows, Peelander–Z guarantees intense audience participation and a chance to exercise. You’ll see the band in colorful costumes reminiscent of Japanese anime, though they describe their outfits as their skin. A Peelander–Z performance is a rare occasion for the entire family to rock out and have a great time.
Chado, the Way of Tea, is commonly known in English as the "Japanese Tea Ceremony." The ancient art of Chado is a synthesis of many Japanese arts with the focus of harmoniously and respectfully preparing and serving a bowl of matcha tea with tranquility and a pure heart.
Rhonda "Sofu" Rolf began studying Chado when living and teaching English in Shimonoseki, Japan. Since then she has studied for almost 20 years in both Japan and the United States. She is a certified instructor and has been granted her chamei (artistic tea name) of "Sofu" and three teaching licenses from Urasenke. Rhonda teaches in her home in the Avery Ranch area of far north Austin.
Austin Taiko is a performance group that is dedicated to the ancient Japanese art of synchronized percussion. Taiko means, "Great Drum". Feel the primal rhythms of this great traditional art form, performed with a unique Austin flair.
Twenty-five years ago, Bob Boyko and wife Martha Durham-Boyko, saw the movie “Rising Sun” and a clip of a San Francisco taiko group. The Boykos became interested in taiko and shortly afterwards enrolled in a Japanese drumming class that was close to their home in Phoenix. They were soon hooked and joined a taiko group there.
When they moved to Austin in 1996, they planned to join a taiko group here. However, since there wasn’t one, Martha started Austin Taiko. Since then, they have performed for many Austin-Oita Sister City Committee events and other venues including schools, universities, libraries and even Asian weddings.