Night of Japanese culture

CELEBRATION: Shaun Thomas and Chris Mantle are ready to immerse themselves and the community in Japanese culture at Tomodachi.

CELEBRATION: Shaun Thomas and Chris Mantle are ready to immerse themselves and the community in Japanese culture at Tomodachi.

THE Port Lincoln Muroto Friendship Group will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original signing of the Friendship Agreement between Muroto and Port Lincoln with Tomodachi, an evening of Japanese culture and food. 

Tomodachi, which is the Japanese word for friend, will feature entertainment by talented cultural performers form the Australia Japan Association of South Australia.

One of the event organisers Shaun Thomas said as well as being a celebration of the significant milestone, it was a chance for all members of the Port Lincoln community to experience a bit of Japanese culture. 

He said guests would also experience a range of traditional Japanese music and dance and get a taste of Japanese cuisine with a Japanese-Asian-Australian fusion menu. 

He said the Nautilus Theatre would be decorated in a Japanese theme, including the portable wooden shrine given to the group by people in Muroto.

Mr Thomas said the group celebrating its 25th anniversary might surprise some people, as it was met with some controversy when established in 1991.

“That was before Chris (Mantle) or myself were on board but the program has lasted and grown,” he said.

“It is important to the Port Lincoln community and to the community in Muroto as well.”

He said community support for the program had always been good as had the support from local schools.

“Looking at how three of the local high schools are now teaching Japanese, that tells you how popular it has become,” he said. 

“As well as support from families hosting and community support we also get a lot of help from local businesses.”

He said the group had been well looked after by a lot of businesses and that was evident with the Tomodachi event and the local produce sponsors had donated, which would feature on the menu.

Tomodachi will be held during this year’s Tunarama Festival where the group will also walk in the parade.

Mr Thomas said it would be made more special by the group who would be visiting from Muroto.

“We will be privileged to host a delegation of six adults from Muroto on the night and throughout the Tunarama weekend.

“Everyone is welcome where we hope they will be entertained and get a taste of Japanese culture and food.”

Tickets to Tomodachi, on January 27 from 7pm, can be purchased at the Nautilus Arts Centre box office or online at for $30.

Tomodachi, January 27.

Tomodachi, January 27.