Multicultural One Family Festival 2023: Power through Different Cultures

Kazuhiro Handa
November 23, 2023
Multicultural dancers performing on stage.

Marebito performed a fusion of Korean martial arts and Indonesian dance.

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Japan hosted the Multicultural One Family Festival 2023 at Plaza Maam in Hamacho, Tokyo, on November 5 in partnership with the Embassies of Indonesia, Brazil, and Uzbekistan, as well as Meguro Rinri Hojinkai (Ethical Corporation Association of Meguro). 

Ms. Hiroko Hasegawa and Mr. Isao Tokuhashi, the committee chair of this year’s festival, welcomed attendees. Mr. Aya Goto, Chairman of GPF Japan, also gave welcoming remarks and announced the festival’s theme, “Power from Different Cultures.” Participants enjoyed lively performances and vibrant interactions between people from many backgrounds.

Two girls from different cultures wearing traditional Indian saris standing on stage at a multicultural family festival.

Bangladeshi children dance in traditional dress.

Solo artists and groups from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam gave captivating performances ranging from traditional folk dance to modern pop music and ballroom dancing. The solo performers included Ms. Yolanda Tasico, a Filipina enka (traditional Japanese music) singer; Mieko Yamazaki, a singer of Japanese and Chinese descent; and Ms. Yukie Kakubari, a Japanese singer known as Humming for Peace. 

Group performances were given by Shishu Shilpi Academy, a group of girls of Bangladeshi descent; Projeto Música sem Fronteiras, a group from Brazil that teaches music to children of foreign descent living in Japan, together with Yoshimi Katayama; Nusantara Indonesia and Bali Bli Bagus, two folk dance groups from Indonesia; V-artists in Tokyo, a group of Japanese and Vietnamese girls; and World Dance Festival, a group of Japanese and Chinese ballroom dancers. There were even joint performances by Ms. Tasico and Oops;))!, a Japanese band, as well as by Marebito, a collaboration between performers from South Korea and Indonesia.

A multicultural group of children are dancing on a stage at a Family Festival, showcasing different cultures.

Children from World Dance Festival showcase ballroom dancing.

The festival wasn’t just about enjoying entertainment, though, as several activities were sprinkled in to promote interaction with those in attendance. A “Break the Ice” game was held in the morning, getting people to introduce themselves to those seated nearby, especially in different languages, if possible. Ms. Nancy Tada, an English teacher in Japan, introduced simple words such as “hello” in different languages in her “Language Connected to the World” presentation, which involved the crowd repeating the words she introduced. A “multicultural” raffle was also held, where some in attendance were able to win prizes from different countries. A fashion show by Team Nadeshiko—a group from Migaku Academy that encourages confidence through beauty—was held to display the combination of traditional and modern fashion.

A multicultural family festival with a group of people standing around a table full of food from different cultures.

Projeto Música sem Fronteiras featuring delicacies from Brazil.

Throughout the event, spectators were also able to walk around the venue and experience different cultures from booths on display. Food could be enjoyed from Miguel’s Kitchen (Bolivia), Masala King (Bangladesh), Selera Nusantara (Indonesia), Takeien (Indonesia), Projeto Música sem Fronteiras (Brazil), and Silk Road Cooking Budoen (Mongolia). Health and beauty products were on display from Ate Moringa (moringa goods) and Migaku Academy (beauty products). Volunteer groups showcased their interactivities, which included Heartship Myanmar Japan, NPO Aozora, and Sarondo Hana. Kifukindemoraeru Takarasagashi (roughly translated as “Treasure Hunt through Charity”) conducted a charity drive where collected items would be donated.

The performers participated in a final “Grand Session” where everyone took to the stage before Rahman Moni, Shaptahik Japan correspondence, along with Kyogen actor and Festival supporter since 2015, Juro Zenchiku, gave final remarks. Zenchiku reminded everyone that laughter is good way to bring people together, especially as one family.

A multicultural group of people at a table, enjoying a family festival.

Sarondo Hana teaches origami to festival participants.

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