Second Japan festival showcases culture

Last Friday was not a typical day for Wichita State students strolling in and out of Lindquist Hall.

Near the entrance of the building, the Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures department and students of the Japanese Cultural Association served Japanese-inspired dishes in the second annual Japan Festival.

Meanwhile, students gathered inside for games, live music and Japanese role-playing with Yumi Foster.

Austin Redetzke, president of the Japanese Cultural Association, served as a guide to those unfamiliar to the festivities going on in Lindquist.

“What you have here is Yumi Sensei [Foster] conducting our Japanese-role playing section,” Redetzke said, as he pointed to one of the classrooms filled with students. The lights were off, and there was a large projection screen displaying Japanese clothing.

On the right side of the entrance were paintings and poster boards with decorations of anime characters and cartoons, such as Pokémon. Redetzke said this display was intended to attract students to the building. Next to the poster boards was a cultural booth, with students lined up for Japanese hair wraps.

“We have our Japanese booth that allows students to get their names written in Japanese,” Redetzke said. “Students also get headbands when playing our duck game. The duck game is when students go fishing for ducks and the winner gets a prize.”

The purpose of holding an annual Japanese Festival, Redetzke said, is to celebrate Japanese culture on campus while raising awareness and integrating foreign exchange students.

Redetzke said he noticed the considerable interest students have in Japanese culture.

“The Japanese classes are almost entirely American students,” he said, “with the exception of a few Japanese students.”