Kyodai, a small Japanese cultural club at Loyola Marymount University, has hosted Japanese Cultural Night (JCN) since 1999 in order to truly express the amazing diversity and cherished tradition of Japanese culture. This year, Kyodai is collaborating with sister club NSU, known as Nikkei Student Union, to broaden and engage in other aspects of Japanese culture. JCN is a yearly celebration of Japanese culture that involves a night full of entertainment, food, games and activities. Entertainment at JCN has ranged from performances by experienced professional musicians fine-tuned to the delicate Koto instrument to silly dance routines performed by Kyodai members. Shin Kanarazu Daiko is a local taiko team and they also make a regular appearance at JCN. Food for JCN is oriented around Japanese culture and includes Japanese staples such as sushi and Teriyaki chicken. The food chosen for JCN also helps promote local Japanese restaurants to the attendees. Among the various opportunities of fun in JCN, the more exciting ones are the games that the audience can participate in. For example, Human Tetris was first introduced by a famous Japanese game show and has since caught the attention of the world. Kyodai has embraced this game as well in order for the audience members to participate in and it has had much success at past JCN events. The last major element of JCN is the activity booths that are set up and run by Kyodai club members. The activities include small games, fortune telling, photos, prizes, origami and chopstick challenges. Another popular activity booth is the calligraphy booth which is run by fellow Japanese professors at LMU. At this booth, the Japanese professors share their culture with others as they teach people how to write Japanese characters in calligraphy using ink and brushes. Last year, JCN also had a station for donations to help aid the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in .
Everyone who attends JCN will be able to gain exposure to a respected culture that has long been revered as one of the most beautiful and delicate of traditions. JCN provides a creative outlet LMU student as well as the Kyodai and NSU members as they perform in front of an audience. JCN also offers a great opportunity for diversity within the LMU community. It is hopefully a reward to faculty and staff, especially those of Japanese origin, to watch JCN unfold as they see the results of dedication from a diverse group of people united by their love of Japanese culture.
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