obonMajikina Aiko, auditor for Okinawa Association of America, takes time from her bookkeeping duties to enjoy a joyful afternoon of picnicking with family and friends and some Okinawan folk dancing at the OAA picnic at Whittier Narrows Park in South El Monte on July 13. The event included food, raffles, a tug of war, martial arts demonstrations and finally an Okinawan Bon dance. This year’s picnic was attended by approximately 650 people.

_MG_0114Entertainment included drumming by the Los Angeles branch of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (above) and Okinawan classical dance by Miyagi-Ryu Nosho-Kai Miyagi Nosho Ryubu Kenkyusho (below), plus Ishihara Minyo and Uezu Yoko Minyo.

_MG_0023_MG_0054Children enjoyed a variety of activities, including a race. Everyone received a prize.

scholarshipsThis year’s scholarship recipients received cash awards ranging from $500 to $1,000 for college expenses. They are (from left) Drew Ayumi Cabral, Kelly Arisa Kiyamu, Desiree Toki Gutirrez, Kiana T. Nakatani, Sumi Jade Kime and Yoshito Funakoshi, represented by his father, Yoshikazu.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo

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