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Japanese Fall Festival Preview

Beginning this Friday at 5:30, you'll have a chance to experience Japanese culture without leaving the Springfield city limits. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

A kabuki dancer, tea ceremonies, and shamisens are all a part of the 10th annual Japanese Fall Festival.

It will take place at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Nathaniel Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield.

The festival will feature performers from a group with a name that's difficult for many Americans to pronounce.

Not too bad at all...That's Mike Williamson, President of the Springfield Sister Cities Association and CEO and Chairman of the Board of Empire Bank.

Springfield has had a Sister City relationship with Isesaki, Japan for 20 years.

He says in addition to the music and other activities that are part of the festival, the public will have a chance to enjoy the Japanese Stroll Garden.

Funding for the three-day festival which wraps up Sunday comes from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks...The festival is being presented by the Springfield Sister Cities Association and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.

Williamson says the festival is a way to bring Japanese culture to the Ozarks.

Williamson says he hasn't been to Isesaki, Japan but has plans for a trip this fall.

In addition to Isesaki, Japan, Springfield has a Sister Cities relationship with Tlaquepaque, Mexico.

Springfield musicians plan to participate in an exchange trip to Tlaquepaque later this month.