Michi is our stage MC. She was once a TV reporter, radio DJ, narrator, event MC and involved in entertainment in the Kansai area.
What is Boston to you?
A. Boston is more than just my second home – almost the same as Japan at this point. I’ve always dreamed of traveling outside of Japan, and I’ve always imagined myself traveling the world, but I never thought I would permanently move to Boston. I moved to Boston when I married. I thought I would just study English for a few years but I ended up moving my home base to Boston and now I work out of Boston. I used to travel all over Japan for work, so traveling to Boston wasn’t that big of a deal for me, but now that I live here, I feel that this was a significant move in my life.
What is Japan festival for you?
A. I’ve been stage MC from our first event, and since 2015 I have been a team member. I distinctly remember the 2012 event to be our first, and I had no experience with such an event and we had over 20,000 attendees. It was a great starting point, and we learned a lot from that experience. I was so moved by this experience, and I am so happy that I was able to share that with our audience, and I’m even happier that I get to share that passion with our attendees every year! Every day we are making history. 10 years ago, I started a satellite group of a non-profit bringing Japanese children and their parents together to share Japanese culture and language, and establish their identity as a Japanese person living in a foreign country. Japan Festival Boston is really an extension of that desire I developed when my daughter was 4, and 10 years later, we’re bringing those same desires to share our culture and traditions with an even larger community. Japan Festival Boston is a place where nationality and language does not matter. We want to share Japanese culture and tradition regardless of that, and hopefully have a fun and safe environment for cultural exchange. I want it to be a space for us to reminisce of Japanese Festivals in Japan, and for our community members, for them to be able to re-live moments they may have experienced, or help them live the moments they want to experience without leaving the country; and to foster understanding and interest in Japanese culture and tradition.
What do you want our audience to know?
A. We want to share the fun with our audience, and I hope the event encourages further learning and also encourage our community members to engage with us in future events. I hope that the next generation will step up and share the same feelings and passion we have towards preserving our culture outside of Japan.