J Night Five (10 photos)Sunday, March 10, 2013 by: Darren Taylor
Karaoke is a Japanese creation, and appropriately, that was celebrated Saturday night at Algoma University's Speak Easy lounge as part of the fifth annual J-Night.
J-Night is the Algoma Multicultural Students Association (AMSA) celebration of Japanese culture, including karaoke, Japanese food, traditional Japanese costumes, along with beer and sake.
Approximately 200 people attended Saturday's fun event and began the evening's festivities by lining up for sushi, okonomi-yaki (a mix of cabbage, eggs and bacon) and niku-jaga (a mix of potatoes, onions, carrots and chicken).
Admission was by donation, with funds raised going to AMSA multicultural events.
AMSA President Yuka Yamada, who hails from the Tokyo area and will be graduating from Algoma University's Business Administration program in June, said karaoke in Japan differs from Western karaoke.
Yamada told SooToday.com that karaoke in her native land is usually held in small, private gatherings of friends, as opposed to being performed in public places.
Yamada told us that AMSA's March 2011 J-Night was scheduled for the same day an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan.
"Many Japanese students were woried about their family and friends in Japan, but we went ahead with J-Night and raised $800 for disaster relief."
So many people showed up for that event, Yamada said, that some had to be turned away to prevent the Speak Easy from overcrowding.
J-Night is AMSA's biggest annual event.