SW festival to celebrate sister cities

South Western Times
City of Bunbury International Relations Committee chairwoman Tresslyn Smith, BREC marketing manager Jo Semmens, Simcoa Operations vice-president David Miles and Vukelic Group director Paul Vukelic watch on as Mayor Gary Brennan participates in the Japanese custom of painting one eye of a Daruma doll.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury International Relations Committee chairwoman Tresslyn Smith, BREC marketing manager Jo Semmens, Simcoa Operations vice-president David Miles and Vukelic Group director Paul Vukelic watch on as Mayor Gary Brennan participates in the Japanese custom of painting one eye of a Daruma doll. Credit: Emily Ace / South Western Times

The City of Bunbury will honour and celebrate its sister city relationship with the inaugural South West Festival of Japan on August 11 at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.

The event will mark the 25th anniversary of Bunbury and Setagaya, Japan, becoming sister cities.

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in an array of entertainment and activities, including Taiko drumming, anime cosplay, martial arts demonstrations, bonsai displays, origami and tea ceremonies.

A Japanese food market will tantalise the taste buds, while patrons have the chance to purchase anime merchandise, Japanese pop culture items, lucky cats and kimonos.

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan painted one eye of a Daruma doll on Friday ahead of the event, which according to Japanese custom is said to help with achieving goals or granting wishes.

One eye is painted before a goal has been reached and the other is painted after, with Mr Brennan to paint the second eye at the festival.

He said the celebration was the perfect opportunity for the community to learn more about Japanese culture.

“The festival will give people an insight into Japan and an appreciation for our Sister City of Setagaya,” he said.

“It is a culture rich with history yet contemporary in its outlook and innovation.”

The family-friendly event will run from 11am to 4pm, with the full program available at www.bunburyentertainment.com.

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