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Passport UCO Invites Community to Japanese Festival

Oct. 11, 2013

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, University Relations, University of Central Oklahoma, 405-974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma’s Passport UCO program, along with the Japanese Student Association, will host a two-day Japanese Festival Oct. 18-19 in the Nigh University Center (NUC) on UCO’s campus.

“Our keynote speaker, Dr. Masao Yokota, is joining us from Japan, and performers are coming from California and St. Louis as well. I can’t recall a Japanese festival of this size in Oklahoma,” said Wayne Stein, Ph.D., director of Passport UCO.

“This is the tenth anniversary of Passport UCO, and we wanted to deliver a wonderful festival. There will be dozens of activities, and it will be very family-friendly,” Stein added.

Initiated in 2004, the Passport UCO program selects a country or region to celebrate during the fall semester. Its mission is to inspire unity and understanding through events that are both educational and entertaining for students and the surrounding community.

The Japanese Festival events are as follows:

  • Keynote and Book Signing, 6 p.m. Oct. 18, NUC Constitution Hall: Dr. Masao Yokota and Dr. Tze-yue G. Hu, prominent scholars in the field of Japanese and East Asian animation studies, will sign copies of their 2013 book, “Japanese Animation: East Asian Perspectives.” Dr. Yokota will deliver the keynote.
  • Traditional Japanese Show, 7 p.m. Oct. 18, NUC Constitution Hall: The evening will include taiko drummers, a tea ceremony, dance, music, kimono fashion and martial arts. Performers from the Japan-American Society of Oklahoma will be featured.
  • Japanese Workshops, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 19, NUC third-floor ballrooms: Attendees can participate in various workshops throughout the day by signing up on a first-come, first-served basis. Workshops include origami, calligraphy, ikebana (flower arrangement), taiko drumming, martial arts, cuisine and cosplay cafes, a popular style of Japanese eatery. Japanese-American artist Roger Shimomura’s work will be on display.
  • Modern Japanese Show, 7 p.m. Oct. 19, NUC Constitution Hall: Experience modern Japanese culture through animation, music, original calligraphy, a samurai performance, fashion show, taiko drumming and Japanese food. The event is presented by UCO’s Japanese Student Association.

For more information, visit, or contact Stein at