Hula dancers at last year’s JCI Carnival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

GARDENA — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute’s annual fundraiser, a two-day carnival held at the end of June, will take place Saturday, June 29, from 12 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 30, from 12 to 7:30 p.m.

Organizations and individuals who use the facilities throughout the year support the GVJCI by running the game and food booths. The delicious dishes include udon, somen, chicken and beef teriyaki, yakisoba, Imagawa yaki, chili hot dogs and rice, tamales, Spam musubi, lau lau, shaved ice, and Okinawan andagi.

In addition, supporting nurseries and produce businesses generously donate fresh vegetables and fruits and beautiful plants to be sold at the carnival.

Outdoor stage entertainment showcases the many classes and programs held at the GVJCI, such as line dancing, ukulele, and taiko, as well as guest performances such as hula, Japanese dance, and youth community bands.

Game booths for all ages range from basketball to pachinko and much more.

Downstairs in the JCI Hall are the martial arts demonstrations and white elephant rummage sale. The martial arts dojos that utilize the GVJCI facilities on a weekly basis provide breathtaking demonstrations of judo, kendo, naginata, shorinji kempo, and Shotokan karate. The rummage sale has many treasures waiting to be found at bargain prices.

On the second floor of the JCI Hall, a themed ibrary known as The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center, complete with a tokonoma display, decorates the hallway. A used-book sale will be held alongside hands-on activities such as arts and crafts, and the Japanese Language School display.

Bingo starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday with cash prizes and bicycles.  Additionally, there are hourly prize drawings on both days with donated prizes from local businesses and individual supporters. Prizes include restaurant meals, jewelry, electronics and movie tickets. Ticket-holders need not be present to win.

The JCI office and supporting organizations are pre-selling coupon books. Each book costs $10 and contains individual $1 tickets that are redeemable at all carnival booths as well as for the raffle.

Gold sponsors of the event are King’s Hawaiian and Union Bank.

The JCI is located at 1964 W. 162nd St. in Gardena. For more information, call (310) 324-6611 or visit

Entertainment Schedule

Saturday, June 29

Outdoor Stage

12:00-12:20 p.m.: JCI Taiko – Tom Kurai

12:25-12:30 p.m.: Greetings from Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi

12:30-12:35 p.m.: Greetings from Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka

12:35-12:40 p.m.: MAPFRE/Commerce West Insurance donor presentation

12:40-12:55 p.m.: 2013 GVJCI Scholarship awardees

1:05-1:25 p.m.: Bando Hidesomi Nihon Buyo Class

1:30-2:10 p.m.: JCI Senior Ukulele and Hula Classes – Chika and Harriet Nagata

Indoor Stage

2:15-2:35 p.m.: Shorinji Kempo South Bay demonstration

Outdoor Stage

2:40-3:00 p.m.: Halau Ke’ Ala O Na Lei Milo

3:05-3:25 p.m.: JCI Break Dance Class – Wreckin’ Crew and Beat Kidz

3:35 p.m.-3:55 p.m.: Na Pua O Lanaki

Indoor Stage

4:00-4:20 p.m.: Kyudo Renmei

4:25-4:45 p.m.: Gardena JCI Kendo demonstration

Outdoor Stage

5:00-9:00 p.m.: Bingo

Sunday, June 30

Outdoor Stage

12:00-12:15 p.m.: JCI Senior Ukulele Group – Ken Kanomata    

12:20-12:50 p.m.: Kanani Kalama Hula Studio

Indoor Stage

12:55-1:15 p.m.: Shotokan Karate

1:20-1:40 p.m.: Gardena Kendo Dojo demonstration

Outdoor Stage

1:45-2:05 p.m.: Mel Ogata’s Ukulele Picking Class

2:15-2:30 p.m.: JCI Line Dance – Terri Slemmons

2:40-3:10 p.m.: Glen Kamida’s nTyme Pep Band

Indoor Stage

3:15-3:35 p.m.: Gardena Judo Club demonstration

Outdoor Stage

4:00-7:30 p.m.: Bingo

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