Staff Interview Vol.4: Julian

Julian Kan

This week, we want to introduce you to our Media Production team manager, Julian – she’s our webmaster, graphic designer, photographer, and art director. She designs our t-shirts, our posters, the maps we hand out at the festival, AND she is also a mom to three. She speaks English, Japanese, Cantonese and Mandarin. Her super international background drives her passion for the festival. On the day of festival, Julian can be seen running around between info booths, photographing, and setting up and breaking down of the event. Her posters are shared at various points of interest within the Japanese Community, and are also shared directly with you guys through posters and various graphics on our social media and website.

For Julian, Boston is her “third home”. She was born in Hong Kong, and spent the early years of her life in Japan. In her teens, she returned to Hong Kong, then decided to come to Massachusetts to study. She is currently working in the publishing department of a finance company. Julian balances working as a designer, working as a mom, and is a member of the Japan Festival Boston team. She considers Hong Kong to be her birthplace, Japan the country she grew up in, and Boston is where she has spent her adult life with her wonderful family with three (adorable) children and pets. “Japan is a special country for me – the roads and streets are clean and well maintained, the people are very well mannered and modest, the never ending onslaught of television programming, magazines, comics, and literature… even the city-wide broadcast of folk music called 「夕焼け小焼け」which signifies that the time is 5PM…the ten years I spent in Japan still bring fond memories back and makes me homesick in a way. It makes me want to cherish the time I spent in Japan and cherish all of the wonderful experiences and memories even more so. In 2012, I learned about the festival, and beginning the next year, I joined the Japan Festival Team to bring my trade as a designer to the table.

Julian says that she is in a love affair with festivals, specifically the Azabu- No-ryo festival in Tokyo, taking place at the end of August every year. “I went to this festival every summer while I lived in Japan. It was such a lively experience, with the festival being well known and often attended by celebrities. There were so many people that it was hard to even walk around! The food stands with the amazing handmade takoyaki, yakisoba, yakitori, taiyaki, shaved ice, candy floss… even whole scallops, grilled right in front of you…. before I knew it, I was in love with the concept of this event and similar events. When I came to MA, there was very little Japanese influence here, and I would go to Washington DC’s Japan festival because I missed festivals so much. When Japan Festival became a yearly event, I was ecstatic. This was a great way of experiencing home away from home and it lets me revisit the Japan I dearly missed, and learn more about Japan. I hope our audience also get to learn about a new Japan, and experience years of pre-existing festival culture, and feel a sense of home. I’m working to bring a Japan to the event that is nuanced with Bostonian culture and vibes, is unique to Boston, and brings our growing community together”. Julian says she is also impressed with the amount of details that Japanese people generally tend to pay much more attention to, and she wants to be able to bring that through her design work to the table as well.

“Japan festival is still in its infant stages, but we’ve seen growth and improvements over the last five years, and my goal is to help bring you a great event. We as a team thank you in advance for your support and kind words, and we hope to be able to bring the best possible festival experience!”