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Japanese Festival 

When: Sat., Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun., Sept. 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Mon., Sept. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 2017
Price: $7-$15
The 2017 Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; has a strong Okinawan flavor this year. The island chain south of what westerners consider "Japan" has its own culture and languages, as well as its own unique folk arts. One of the most popular of the latter is Eisa, a folk dance that honors the cultural ancestors. Eisa features Taiko drums (always popular at the Japanese Festival), singing and accompaniment on the sanshin, a traditional three-stringed instrument. Luck Eisa, which performed at last year's fest, returns once again to perform for appreciative crowds. The group is joined by St. Louis Okinawa Eisa, a local company, for several joint performances throughout the holiday weekend. As always, there will be traditional Japanese food, fine art displays, martial arts demos and a marketplace in addition to the performers. The Japanese Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday (September 2 to 4) at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; Admission is $7 to $15.
— Paul Friswold


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