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The Northwest Kominka & Yakisugi Festival

Join us at the Northwest Kominka & Yakisugi Festival for a wonderful day celebrating Japanese architectural cultural heritage and traditional music and arts with workshops, demonstrations, presentations, panel discussions, performances - and an array of interesting booths with information about traditional building techniques, initiatives to preserve Japanese kominka,  antiques, delicious food, artisan goods, and much more. This event is being organized by the Kominka Collective and Toda Komuten with generous support from Shinshiro City and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland. 

When: November 5th, Sunday: 10 am to 5:30 pm.

Dinner: 6 to 8 pm (Optional)

Where: Camp Colton (about 50 minutes south of Portland, Oregon)

Everyone is very welcome! (No charge for children under 12.)

Lunch and dinner must be pre-ordered when you purchase your ticket

Lunch and

Scroll down to learn more!

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The Schedule at a Glance

We are absolutely delighted to announce that internationally acclaimed Japanese garden designer Hoichi Kurisu will be the Keynote Speaker at the Northwest Kominka & Yakisugi Festival!


Hoichi Kurisu,

President and Founder of Kurisu LLC

Keynote title:

Convergence of The Japanese Garden & Healing Garden at Oregon State Penitentiary



Hoichi Kurisu will share his experience and insights developing and building the Memorial Healing Garden with adults in custody inside Oregon State Penitentiary, a maxiumum-security facility in Salem, Oregon. Five years in the development, this one-of-a-kind garden was dedicated in 2019. Kurisu will discuss, from a designer’s point of view, what he believes contributes to the healing effect of the garden in this unlikely location.

About Koichi Kurisu

President and Founder of Kurisu LLC, Hoichi Kurisu has been designing and building gardens for over fifty years. From 1968 to 1972, Hoichi served as Landscape Director for the Japanese Garden Society in Portland, Oregon, and supervised the construction of the Portland Japanese Gardens. He founded Kurisu International, Inc, (now Kurisu LLC) in 1972. The landscape firm has an established reputation for gardens of the highest quality  including Anderson Gardens (Rockford, IL) and Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden (Delray Beach, FL).


Their unique garden designs create “inner space” for inspiration and healing. Kurisu is a leader at the forefront of creating Japanese-style healing gardens to meet the complex needs of society, which has resulted in Japanese gardens in unlikely places. Kurisu has collaborated with forward-thinking water-treatment facilities to create space for community, and in 2019 completed the first of its kind healing garden inside the maximum-security Oregon State Penitentiary (Salem, Oregon).

Kurisu LLCWebsite:

Instagram: @kurisugardens

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Don't miss the three incredible  taiko/shinobue/shamisen performances by Takohachi - each featuring different pieces!

There will be so much to do, see, and learn at the booths in the Gathering Hall and the workshops just outside - and some amazing Japanese food to try and lovely items to take home!

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  • Stop by the Timber Framers Guild booth to learn about the craft of timber framing and the important work the TFG is doing to support communities and preserve built cultural heritage.

  • Try some incredibly delicious inarizushi and norimakizushi at the SOEN booth - and then go back for seconds! 

  • Enjoy a friendly conversation about contemplative retreats in a kominka (and have a cup of tea and sweets) at the Kominka Life Coaching booth.

  • Visit Shogun's Gallery's booth to see beautiful, one-of-a-kind Japanese antique treasures - that you can take home!

  • Learn about an inspiring Hawaii-Japan initiative to save kominka with Milt Yamada of Japan Kominka Rescue

  • Learn how intricate origami pieces are made at the booth of the Consulate Office of Japan in Portland

  • Visit the SORA Shodo booth to see artist SORA create her extraordinary pieces in front of our eyes, inclduing bespoke pieces at your request!

  • Visit the Japanese Traditional Crafts & Artisan Goods booth for unique items by craftspeople in the Pacific Northwest and Japan! 

  • Stop by the Kominka Collective booth to learn about kominka and yakisugi, and to find out what this not-for-profit company is doing in and outside of Japan to preserve and protect these extraordinary structures.

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After Takohachi's morning performance, join us for a presentation about kominka and traditional building techniques (inside) and another about yakisugi (outside). At the end of the day, don't miss the panel discussion about 'Perspectives on the preservation of built cultural heritage'!

A great opportunity to participate in out-of-this-world workshops and demonstrations on a range of interesting topics - details are below!

Demonstration 1: Ikebana, led by Nana Goto Bellerud


Nana Goto Bellerud

Workshop Time: 11:15 - 12:15 


In this demonstration, Nana will introduce the art of ikebana, and in so doing, she hopes to intrigue and inspire you.  Beyond simply producing a beautiful work of art with flowers and natural objects, she will show you how ikebana explores artistic concepts such as balance, contrast, and negative space.

About Nana Goto Bellerud

Nana Goto Bellerud has been studying the Sogetsu School of Ikebana since 2005 and continues to be inspired and have new insights from its teachings.
Nana demonstrates, exhibits, and teaches Ikebana at a wide range of venues including the Portland Art Museum, Portland Japanese Garden, Gresham Japanese Garden, and Leach Botanical Garden. Through her demonstrations and workshops, she seeks to introduce others to the Japanese art of Ikebana and to intrigue and inspire them.  Beyond simply creating a beautiful work of art with flowers and natural objects, she shows her audience how Ikebana explores artistic concepts such as balance, contrast, and negative space.
Nana has been creating and posting Ikebana on Instagram and actively teaching via live interactive video and in-person on a small group setting.
Nana is currently serving as the Branch Director of Sogetsu Portland and the President of I.I. Portland Chapter #47.  She has recently joined the Board of Trustees of Ikebana Iwaya Fund. 


Instagram @nana_bellerud

Parallel Workshop Session 2: The use of Japanese woodworking hand tools, led by Yann Giguère of Mokuchi Studio 

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Yann Giguère,

Mokuchi Studio

Workshop Time: 13:30 - 14:30


The precision and sophistication of Japanese woodwork is known. the world over. Yann Giguere of Mokuchi will demonstrate how the Japanese woodworking hand tools are used to produce such fine work. Come by and get familiar with Nokogiri/Saw, Nomi/Chisel, Layout tools. and pull a shaving yourself with the Kanna/Plane!!

About Yann Giguère

Now based in Ashland, Oregon, Giguère has been a professional woodworker since 1991 and founded Mokuchi Studio in 2008. Originally from the province of Quebec, he came to the U.S. and began his training in Western woodworking at the Maharishi University program for Cabinet and Furniture Making in Fairfield, Iowa. Yann quickly found inspiration in the Japanese woodworking traditions and hand tools. In 1999, he focused on Japanese techniques by entering a nine-year apprenticeship at the Takumi Company in Seattle with acclaimed woodworker Dale Brotherton. Giguère’s work is unique in the Japanese techniques used for complex joinery and elegant hand-finishing. His design and build experience includes entire timber frame homes, interior features ranging from stairs and shojis, to cabinetry, garden structures, and furniture. He is a passionate educator on Japanese tools and techniques that can be incorporated into existing woodworking practices. Since 2013, he has been teaching extensively out of Mokuchi studio and at various craft schools, including Penland, Peters Valley, Arrowmont, and Snow Farm.


Instagram @mokuchistudio 

Parallel Workshop Session 2: Basic Bamboo Fence Making, led by Kurisu LLC


Kurisu LLC

Workshop Time: 13:30 - 14:30


Often this style fence marks division in garden, particularly from the tea house inner and outer gardens. These fences also represent a psychological division in the garden between outer world and inner sense.

No experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided.

About Kurisu LLC
In 1972, Hoichi Kurisu founded Kurisu International, Inc. (now Kurisu LLC), a landscape design/build
firm whose unique gardens create “inner space” for inspiration and healing. Kurisu believes in
the restorative powers of nature and the necessity of natural encounters for lasting health of our
minds, bodies, and communities. In pursuit of this mission, Kurisu has established a reputation
for gardens of the highest quality and has completed projects across the United States and

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Kurisu LLC provides comprehensive design, construction,
and consulting services on projects as intimate as residential courtyards and as vast as public
parks. Kurisu addresses projects with an acute aesthetic sensibility and an evidence-based
approach that uses natural patterns to solve complex design challenges.
Derived from ecology in its broadest sense, Kurisu’s approach to landscape, business and life
depends on rigorous study of local conditions, sensitivity to history and above all, humility. The
result is whole-system design, a methodology deeply rooted in the specificity of place, people
and purpose, and uniquely suited to draw out nature’s ability to meet humanity’s need for
inspiration, restoration and healing.

Kurisu LLCWebsite:

Instagram: @kurisugardens

Parallel Workshop Session 2: Japanese Shodo (Calligraphy), led by SORA of SORA Shodo


SORA Shodo

Workshop Time: 13:30 - 14:30



Concept: Learn basics then Express your creativity by writing and drawing with Japanese Shodo materials such as brush, paper, and calligraphy ink. you will learn the basics of how to write Japanese characters  (mostly Kanji ) with a brush and draw in your own style. Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) is a meditation practice. You concentrate on what you are writing and express your feelings on paper using Sumi ink.  


Materials we use :

  • fude (brush) – A long, usually wooden-handled brush tipped with horse, sheet, goat, racoon, or weasel hair.

  • Sumi (ink) – Black ink made from charcoal soot and glue, usually compressed into an ink stick and ground with water.

  • Hanshi (paper) – Thin, absorbent Japanese washi paper designed for calligraphy.

  • Suzuri (inkstone) – A fine stone with a depression in which the ink is ground.

  • Shitajiki (underlay) – A thin wool sheet that evens the pressure on the paper and protects the table beneath.

  • Bunchin (paperweight) – One or two wide paperweights used to keep the paper flat and steady.


No experience is necessary, and all materials will be provided.

About SORA Shodo

Portland, Oregon USA-based Artist, SORA was born in Usuki Oita, Japan. Her love for Shodō began when she started taking lessons at 6 years old. Her passion for Shodō blossomed under Master Sekkō Daigo (Oregon) and more recently, Master Futō Suzuki's (Japan) curriculum. SORA masterfully blends Shodō art skills with her life experiences.  SORA’s art provides a window into her soul. 


SORA has been introducing Japanese culture through her live performance and art since 2017. She has built up her career by herself in a foreign country because she has a big passion for what she does and she believes that ancient Japanese history of culture will affect our society deeply from now on. The hint is hiding in Japanese traditional culture. SORA is experienced at Introducing deep Japanese shodo culture using materials such as naturally made sumi ink, brush, papers, and inkstone crafted by shokunin (carpenters and professionals) hands in Japan. Nothing is "ATARIMAE" (take for granted). Knowing the process of making materials will help prevent people from throwing things away easily and realize how lucky to live surrounded by nature on this earth. Simple things to get to know to make this world a clean and peaceful place. SORA will be an inspired Artist, healer, and instructor for everyone who is going to meet her. 

SORA is the New Era of Japanese who give you GENKI ( positive energy)  to gather people together so that we can live happily every day with simple things around us.


Instagram: @sora_shodo

Parallel Workshop Session 3: Japanese Joinery and Mini Minka Frame Raising Workshop & Ceremony, led by the Kominka Collective


Kominka Collective & Toda Komuten

Workshop Time: 14:45 - 15:45



We will show examples of how traditional Japanese kominka are constructed and look at different types of joinery.


Participants - both children and adults are welcome - will then be invited to join in raising the frame of what we affectionately call the "Minka Minka".


This will be followed by a traditional frame-raising ceremony that has been adapted to be particularly fun for children - but will be enjoyable for people of all ages.


About the Kominka Collective

While traditional Japanese folk houses are widely appreciated for their beautiful aesthetic and for the skill with which they were built, many of these extraordinary structures are being torn down and incinerated. This is an immeasurable loss, and it is our mission to protect, preserve, and reconstruct Japanese folk houses for the sake of future generations. The Kominka Collective was conceived as a way to share traditional Japanese folk houses with people outside of Japan, not as museum pieces, but as places to live, gather, and work – and in so doing, give these beautiful old houses a second life.  We are a not-for-profit organization.


Instagram: @kominkacollective & @todasanchi

Parallel Session 3: Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstration with Kiyomi Koike of Kominka Life Coaching

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Kiyomi Koike, Kominka Life Coaching

Demonstration Time: 14:45 - 15:45



In this demonstration, Kiyomi Koike, founder of SEI MEE TEA,  will talk about the history and philosophy of the tea ceremony and describe how people can adopt the ritual at home. 

Participants will be invited to enjoy the tea (and Japanese sweet!) of their choice both during the ceremony - and also throughout the day at Kiyomi's Kominka Life Coaching booth. 


About Kiyomi Koike 

Kiyomi Koike, founder of SEI MEE TEA, has dedicated two decades to serving her customers. Many faced grave health challenges, their apprehension evident in their words, and their earnest hopes reflected in their orders. This profound experience led her to become a certified life coach. As a native Japanese, now proudly an American citizen, she offers kominka-inspired coaching. Her passion lies in guiding individuals towards their cherished aspirations with clarity, certainty, and self-assurance, all while discovering inner peace amidst today's intricate society. Her services are accessible online and at the Kominka, a stunning establishment in NE Oregon that Kiyomi and her husband, Bill, are constructing.  Nestled in breathtaking 360-degree mountain views, this serene Kominka serves as a transformative sanctuary for individuals seeking reconnection with themselves."


Instagram: @kominkacollective

Parallel Workshop Session 3: Antique Restoration. led by Joshua Peterson of Shogun's Gallery   


Shogun's Gallery

Demonstration Time: 14:45 - 15:45



As with kominka, Japanese antiques - including baskets, ceramics, art, textiles, furniture, and architectural pieces - are extraordinary in terms of their beautiful aesthetic qualities and the skills required to create them.

In this workshop, we will first touch on some basics of Meiji era tansu construction, and then you will have an opportunity to try your hand at bringing some treasures back to life using methods employed by Shogun’s Gallery.

About Joshua Peterson of Shogun's Gallery

Shogun’s Gallery has been in business in Portland, Oregon for over 40 years. The gallery grew from a love of Japanese antiques and expanded from purely Japanese items to include Chinese antique furniture. Originally in the heart of Portland’s downtown, the gallery moved to NW 23rd Avenue in 1988. In June 2017 the gallery moved into its warehouse and restoration space at 1801 NW Upshur Street to continue its expansion of internet sales and also to continue bringing to Portland their deep inventory of Tansu, Asian art, cultural objects and antiques.


Instagram: @shoguns_gallery

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