A number of Japanese traditions will be showcased this weekend at the Des Moines Botanical Center. Jo Wetherell, president of the Japan-American Society of Iowa, says the Festival promotes Japanese-American relations.Wetherell says Japanese tea ceremonies will be reenacted throughout the two-day event. She says the age-old tradition clashes with American-style coffee talk, as it’s a very formalized ritual.The Japanese art of flower arranging called Ikebana will also be demonstrated. Wetherell says there’s symbolic meaning behind the Asian flower arrangement that’s based on having a large dominant branch, heaven, and a lower branch, earth. The final lower branch symbolizes man.Wetherell says the art of paper folding, origami, will be available in a variety of shapes and forms.The Japan Festival will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of Iowa’s “sister state” relationship with Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan. The event is from 10 to 5 P-M on Saturday and 10 to 4 P-M Sunday. A sushi and green tea lunch will also be available.
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