Staff Interview Vol.7: Yamashita

Ai Yamashita

Stage Producer

yamashita 2017Ai is responsible for reaching out to performers local and from other locations such as Japan, and New York. Sher Believes that Japan Festival Boston is the key to bringing world peace; and her positive attitude and cheerful manner keeps our meetings fun and on track.

“I’m a student at Berklee College of Music, majoring in Professional Music. I started the summer of 2015, and I’ve lived in Boston for the last year and ha half. Berklee was my dream school, even while I was in Japan, so I’m glad I live here now. My life here is very productive – rehearsals, projects, classes, and assignments are a constant, but all of my classes and assignments are intriguing, and because of the nature of the city, being a very academic place, is full of young people, young thoughts, and passion. I’m constantly inspired by the city. It’s a quiet enough city to be studying in, very close to NYC, and there’s a lot of colleges, meaning I get to experience the incredibly diverse and powerful aura this city has.”

Japan Festival for me is a huge opportunity. I’ve never been involved in event planning on a scale of 60,000 attendees, and I’ve already learned so much about it just by being involved. Also, living in Boston, there’s a huge (and diverse) group of young people interested in Japan. When I tell people that I was born in Japan, everyone is so excited about it. I want people to be able to see more than just what is commonly known about Japan. I want people to see the traditions, the beauty, and the art and literature that Japan has to offer: that is why I decided to work with the stage team. As I grew accustomed to living in Boston myself, I learned how wonderful Japan and its culture is, and I want our audience to experience that as well.

With the planning of the stage, I wanted to show both the contemporary Japanese culture as well as the traditional Japanese performance so our audience can really feel the culture Japan has to offer. Even within event planning, I’ve met so many people in the Japanese community living in and around Boston. Even though the pressure of planning such a large scale event is huge and the list of preparations seem endless, the fact that I’m so involved with this process brings great excitement as we get closer to the event. I also feel that the sharing and exchange of culture leads to understanding between nations and cultures. I hope this event and the sharing of culture helps establish world peace.

I want this event to be fun and engaging for everyone, so I’m going to work even harder to make this event successful!

Japan festival Boston is a once a year event- and really specifically, as close to an authentic Japanese festival as possible. The food, the performances, and booths, there’s so much to explore and to experience. We’re working on traffic control and making lines move faster this year, so we hope you enjoy this festival more than you did in previous years!

Editor’s note

Ai is such an important person in our committee! Her bright and bouncy energy is really encouraging, and she is so much fun to work with! Her dedication to the stage and the event is so apparent in the work that she does. Our meetings are made ten times more fun and productive because of the hard work she puts in to the stage!

– Kei