We were excited to co-sponsor the Red Lantern Night Market put on by Izakaya Club on June 11 and 12. The market exceeded all expectations, selling out the capacity of 350 people each night ahead of the event.
Part bazaar, part carnival, part party, this Red Lantern Night Market was hosted by Mad Art Gallery and featured street food (takoyaki, yakitori, onigiri, Japanese sandos, and more!) as well as beer and boutique cocktails, unique retail, authentic Japanese cultural experiences, and music and entertainment. Takashima Records DJ'd the events all night, with breaks for the crowd-arresting thumping bass of St. Osuwa Taiko performances.
Japan America Society of St. Louis provided three of the most popular experiences of the event. Guests stood in line for hours to have their fortunes told by Dr. Chikako Usui, who provided uranaishi (street-side fortune teller) services. Yuko Kitajima's Matcha Society (Ai-Ko-Kai) of St. Louis performed tea ceremony demonstrations in the venue's small jail cells-turned-chashitsu. They always had a line to get in and sold out both nights! And Hiroko Yoshii demonstrated shodo to guests into the wee hours of the morning.
Izakaya Club is sharing proceeds from the event with JAS and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). The event was a huge success and rumor has it, they are planning another one for late summer or early fall. Be on the lookout for details as that comes together.