Is there anything to do next weekend? Of course! On Saturday, July 26, from 3 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, July 27, from 2 to 8 p.m., the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center, located at 14615 Gridley Rd. in Norwalk, will celebrate a cultural festival not to be missed.

The center will have great food, including homemade udon, delicious won ton, fresh corn, tasty teriyaki, Imagawayaki (say it fast three times), sushi, and, of course, its famous dingo.

Women wearing yukata dance at the SEJSCC Cultural Festival
Women wearing yukata dance at the SEJSCC Cultural Festival

While eating your festival favorites, free entertainment, including dramatic taiko beats, judo demonstrations and kendo demonstrations, will be performed throughout the day. More relaxing, the ikebana displays will provide you some avant-garde inspiration for your own home. Or, if you are seeking the solace of the Islands, on Saturday the music and dance of the Hawaiian Delites will put you on the waves of the Big Island. If that isn’t enough, then on Sunday the wonderful rhythms of Na Wahine will take you away.

After the island visit, Japanese traditional dances – including some modern takes on these old favorite dances will be performed by everyone. Accompanied by a taiko drum beat, anyone can join in — just follow the persons in the center and enjoy.

After eating to your heart’s content, you can play a little bingo or shop for bargains at the plant sale. Don’t let your ficus be sold to your neighbor; claim it for yourself. Prices for these treasures are amazingly low and the good deals are taken quickly.

For the kids, numerous games will be offered, including the goldfish bounce, shooting gallery, basketball shooting and of course “fishing.”

New this year, the TCDS (Tuna Canyon Detention Station) will have a historical display during the festival. Find out if one of your ancestors, (German, Italian, Peruvian or Japanese) was among the 2,500 detained at this newly designated historic-cultural monument over 69 years ago. You might be surprised.

Welcome to Japan in Norwalk!

For more information, email sejscc@org or call (562) 863-5996.

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