Boise’s Basque Block was converted to small Japanese street fair on Monday, with anime face painting, origami, calligraphy and children’s games, along with dance, martial arts and musical performances.
“We believe that Boise is so thirsty for cultures,” says Idaho Japanese Association founder and present Rika Torres. More than 10 years ago when the association was started, her tiny group got a little bigger. “We have diversity now. People say ‘different cultures — kind of cool,’” she says.
Sali Yamada, 21, a foreign exchange student from Japan, volunteered at the festival. She’s been in Boise for three weeks. “I thought in Boise there were only a few Japanese people,” she said as she tied candy at the 1,000 Strings booth. “It’s amazing. I’m so happy.”
Idaho Japanese Association is a non-profit for people interested in Japanese culture and language. This is the 11th annual Japan Day.
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“Japan has been a lot of people’s interest,” says Torres. “We want to show the real Japanese traditions and culture.”