Maui Arts & Entertainment

Celebrate Japanese culture at UHMC on May 25: Drumming, dancing, food and more

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Maui Matsuri. PC: Japanese Cultural Society of Maui

The 22nd annual Maui Matsuri Japanese Festival is planned to take place at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College campus on Saturday, May 25. The Japanese Festival event is from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include free entertainment, kids crafts, food booths and trucks, crafters, exhibits, hands-on activities, passport activity, and much more.

This year, a luminary service will be led by the Maui Interfaith Alliance to remember loved ones who were lost in the Lahaina wildfires. Join the lighting of 101 candles and honor their memory by dancing in the festival ending Obon dance. Admission to the Japanese festival is free and parking is $5 per vehicle.

“We were shocked by the amount of people who came to last year’s Japanese Festival in our return to UH Maui College post-COVID,” said Kay Fukumoto, co-chair of Maui Matsuri. “The passion and interest in Japanese culture is very much alive on Maui, and we are excited to welcome families and visitors at both our events over the next couple weekends.”


The Maui Matsuri events continue to showcase a vibrant and diverse Maui community, while providing a venue to gather and celebrate a wide array of Japanese cultural arts and traditions.

Maui Matsuri is produced by a team of volunteers led by co-chairs Kay Fukumoto, Brian Nagami and Jennifer Sumida. The festival is presented by the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, and supported in part by the County of Maui and the Office of Economic Development. Other major sponsors are Hawai’i Tourism Authority, Island Honda, IBEW Local 1186, UH Maui College, Queen Kaʻahumanu Center and Maui Taiko.

Event schedule (May 25, 2024)

  • 3:05 p.m.: Drumming – Maui Taiko
  • 3:35 p.m.: Classical Dancing – Maui Buyo Academy
  • 3:45 p.m.: Drumming – Maui Okinawa Taiko
  • 4 p.m.: Koto – Victoria Jacintho
  • 4:10 p.m.: Messages, Business Award
  • 4:30 p.m.: Drumming – Ryugen Taiko
  • 4:45 p.m.: Shakuhachi – Marco Lienhard
  • 4:55 p.m.: Japanese Lion Dance – Ai Matsuda
  • 5:15 p.m.: Natto Eating Contest
  • 5:25 p.m.: Folk Dancing – Maui Minyo Kai
  • 5:40 p.m.: Martial Arts – Makawao Kendo Dojo
  • 6 p.m.: World Fusion Music – Koto – Ranga Pae
  • 6:15 p.m.: Drumming – Zenshin Daiko
  • 6:40 p.m.: Passport Winners Announcements
  • 6:45 p.m.: Shakuhachi – Marco Lienhard
  • 6:55 p.m.: Drumming – Ryugen Taiko
  • 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Obon Area
  • 7:30 p.m.: Luminary Ceremony – Interfaith Prayer
  • 7:45 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Community Obon Festival – Coordinated by Maui Taiko and Maui Minyo Kai. Everyone is encouraged to dance.

For more information, visit the festival website at, follow @mauimatsuri on social media or call 808-283-9999.


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