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Nov 14, 2022
On October 29 and 31, 2022, the Tenku Festival Executive Committee held the 20th annual Tenku Festival, APU’s school festival, on campus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the past 2 years, events were held online, making this time the first in 3 years that the festival was finally held in person. On this weekend, a total of around 3000, including students and local residents, flocked to enjoy this once-in-a-year experience.
This year’s theme was “Never stop running.” Through this theme, the students of the executive committee wanted to express the specialness of their time as students and call other students to keep moving forward even in the face of the pandemic.
One of the biggest attractions at the Tenku Festival was the outside performance stage. Among those that performed was Chiyo, who performed a traditional dance of Aomori Prefecture. The first day also included night festivities which dazzled the crowd with dance and instrumental performances.
Visitors to the food stalls were also entertained with a wide variety of international menu items. Various circles and volunteer groups provided Japanese classics, such as takoyaki and oden, Oita's local dish, "toriten," Vietnamese yakitori, Thai sour soup "tom yum goong," and Nepalese dumplings, "momo." Reproducing the tastes of the world, the food stands gave visitors a chance to try foods rarely seen in Japan. In addition, 7 outside stores from Oita Prefecture, mainly Beppu City, sold yakisoba and crepes.
In addition, alumni and current students jointly sold beef bowls and used the proceeds to support Ukrainian refugees.
Maichi Ono (College of International Management, Japan), representative of the Tenku Festival Executive Committee, said, "Because it was held face-to-face for the first time in three years, I could rely only on past data and manuals to manage an event that I have never participated in. It was a situation in which we were fumbling around." Looking back on the difficulties, he stated “I had a lot of anxiety, but in fact, many people from the community came to the event and said it was fun. I felt both joy and satisfaction. We were able to make it a success thanks to everyone who helped us. Thank you very much for enlivening, supporting, and enjoying the Tenku Festival!"
Tenku Festival was held face-to-face for the first time in three years, so it was the first time for most of the students participating to enjoy such performances and food stands. Many families from the local community also attended, making APU once again a place where Beppu residents and international students can interact.