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April 7 Japanese Festival at Hendrix Open to All

CONWAY, Ark. (March 28, 2018) — Hendrix College, the University of Central Arkansas (UCA), and Arkansas Tech University will co-host the first Central Arkansas Omatsuri Japanese Festival on Saturday, April 7 from 2-4 p.m., at the Brick Pit near the center of the Hendrix College campus. The festival will feature Japanese food, games, cultural activities, music, and dance performances. Admission is free, and the festival is open to the public. 

Since the summer of 2016, Japan Outreach Initiative Coordinator Aya Murata has been working with students, faculty and staff from all three schools, as well as Japanese community members, to raise awareness about Japanese culture in Central Arkansas. The initiative aims to provide opportunities for college students to share their knowledge about Japan with other college students and the local community in order to grow future leaders in Japan-U.S. relationships, as well as deepen the understanding of Japan in the Conway community. 

Featured activities at the festival include:

  • 2:30 p.m.: A performance of “So-ran bushi,” a Japanese traditional fisherman’s dance, by students from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (U of A). Following the performance, the dance will be taught by students from Hendrix and U of A to all attendees who wish to learn.
  • 3:30 p.m.: A performance of “So-ran bushi” by Hendrix students.
  • 3:40 p.m.: “Bon odori,” a Japanese traditional festival dance, will be taught by a women’s dance team from Hot Springs, and all are invited to participate. 

In the event of rain, the festival will move from the Brick Pit to the Wellness and Athletics Center at Hendrix, on the east side of Harkrider Street.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit