It's Aksa Gumi taiko from Japan. The drum beat at Miller Outdoor Theater Thursday night signals the silver anniversary, this weekend, for one of Houston's best-attended and beloved festivals...the Japan Festival in Hermann Park. Some 25-thousand attend each year in the Saturday and Sunday free event, staged around the Japanese Garden there. Martial arts, music, anime dress up and games for the kids abound, with Japanese food and drink and market booths to purchase some cultural specialties.

The event, with its sponsorship by several Japanese and Japan-America organizations of Houston have contributed 250,000 dollars to the Hermann Park Conservancy over the past 25 years. That's something to beat the drum about.

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