Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow was a by-product of Japan 2001, which took place throughout the UK from May 2001 till March 2002.
As part of Japan 2001 and Glasgow’s own West End Festival, a one-off Matsuri was organised in June 2001 in Glasgow Botanic Gardens. This event proved so successful by attracting about 2,000 visitors, that the Consulate of Japan in Edinburgh suggested another Matsuri be organised within the lifespan of Japan 2001.
The resulting event was Hina Matsuri, held in March 2002, again as part of the Japan 2001 festival. Despite heavy rain this event attracted about 1,000 visitors. Our second Matsuri, held in June 2002 as part of the West End Festival attracted more than 3,000 visitors. This matsuri was featured in Japan (No. 706, July 23rd, 2002), a monthly newsletter published by the Japan Informational and Cultural Centre (JICC), Embassy of Japan under the heading of "Matsuri returns to Glasgow by popular demand".
Following on from the success of these events, Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow (JMG) was established in 2002. JMG originated as a voluntary association to organise a Japanese festival (matsuri) in Glasgow on a regular basis. Its objectives are as follows:
The objects of the association shall be to advance the education of the public in Japanese culture and heritage by the organising and operating of a Japanese festival (matsuri) to be held in Glasgow (or elsewhere as the membership may deem appropriate) with a view to promoting wide community involvement and the promotion of awareness of different cultures.
Kunio YANAGIDA, the father of Japanese ethnology, referred to Matsuri as "a festival in which all social divisions dissolves in the ecstasy of communal celebration".
JMG has tried, and will continue to try, to create such feeling by involving as many people as possible, regardless of their backgrounds and nationalities, as visitors or volunteers.
JMG has been recognised as a Scottish Charity (Scottish Charity Number: SC 034172), with effect from 13 January 2003.