SAN FRANCISCO — In recognition of Japan’s national holiday for children, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) is presenting its annual Kristi Yamaguchi’s Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) Festival on Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Families will have an opportunity to photograph their kids in traditional kimono.

The holiday celebrates the health and happiness of children. Many families fly carp banners, also known as koinobori, outside their homes with each representing a child in the family. A carp swimming upstream is a symbol of strength and courage.

Children’s Day in San Francisco’s Japantown features games like kingyo sukui, where kids can catch their own goldfish and take them home, and cultural arts and crafts like balloon yo-yos and Japanese kite-making.

Performers will include ABC Preschool, Abraham Lincoln High School’s Japanese Culture Club, Clarendon Taiko, Genryu Arts, Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea, Kirakiraboshi Choir, Madame Michiya Hanayagi, Hideko Nakajima Sensei, Nihonmachi Little Friends Afterschool Program, and San Francisco Kendo Dojo.

Entertainment, kids’ activities and food booths will be located in Japantown Peace Plaza, Post and Buchanan streets. Everyone is welcome to join this free festival for all ages.

The JCCCNC will be hosting an all-new Children’s Day Family Workshop. This unique experience, once provided only for local schools, offers families a chance to make their own sakura mochi, learn about the history of the Japanese doll exhibit, and create their own Japanese paper dolls. This event will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. on May 4; sign up online at or call the JCCCNC at (415) 567-5505.

A popular once-a-year opportunity for kids to dress in traditional kimono provided by the Consulate General of Japan will also be offered. Space is limited; sign up for different time slots by calling the JCCCNC.

Children’s Day is sponsored by the Japan Center Malls and supported by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation, the Hatsuro and Amey Aizawa Family Charitable Trust, and the Consulate General of Japan.

Participating organizations include the Cherry Blossom Queen and Court, Chinatown Community Development Center, Clarendon Elementary School’s Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program, International Association of Tako-Age, JACL, JCCCNC Shibori Class, Japanese Community Youth Council, Nakayoshi Young Professionals, Nihonmachi Little Friends, Pine United Methodist Church, and Rose Parks Elementary School’s Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program.

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