Japanese Students’ Association held their annual Omatsuri event, reminiscent of a Japanese summer festival of the same name, in Hirst Lounge.
Omatsuri, which translates in English to “festival,” is marked by stands in the streets with games and activities like Shateki, a rubber-band gun target game, and water yo-yo, where participants use string and a small metal hook to try to fish an inflated ball out of a kiddie pool. Other stands at Omatsuri will often also include ring-tosses and food.
JSA’s version had six stations with activities, some — like Shateki and water yo-yo — inspired by the traditional Omatsuri, with some non-traditional activities like a “chopstick challenge,” where visitors tried to stack dice using chopsticks. (An hour into the event, the maximum dice stacked was six, according to the student running the booth.) Other non-traditional stations included calligraphy, origami, and a new addition, hanetsuki — a paddle-and-shuttlecock game.
With each station, visitors would receive a ticket. Once they got four tickets, they would get a small paper plate of sushi.
JSA decided the activities its Omatsuri in a brainstorming session held in the early weeks of the school year. The ensuing committee formation and planning can get hectic, according to programming chair Zita Yang, a junior. “But it’s actually a good thing because [the work] sort of brings people together,.”
Ultimately, JSA’s ability to bring people together made Yang stick with it.
“I think, for me, it’s more like a family.”