GARDENA — Celebrate a piece of Japanese culture at the 41st annual Zen Nippon Airinkai Southern California Chapter Koi Show, to be held this weekend at the Ken Nakaoka Memorial Community Center, 1700 W. 162nd St., Gardena.

The show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.

koi showBred for hundreds of years in Japan, koi are considered to be living jewels. Revered for their beauty, grace, and size (over a meter in length), they can be worth tens of thousands of dollars each. The koi show will display over 300 of the most spectacular show-quality koi in the country.

In addition to these magnificent animals, vendor booths will be open for the public for koi education and sales, garden landscaping information, pond and filter design, food and refreshments, and general equipment needed for the koi hobby.

People interested in building a koi pond or water garden and koi husbandry will be especially interested in attending the fair. There will be specialists presenting lectures on pond design, water gardens, filter systems and koi health. If you’ve ever dreamed of having that special garden hideaway, with beautiful fish and the tranquil sound of running water, this is a must-attend event.

At 11 a.m. on Sunday, there will be a special auction where bidders can purchase a koi for a fraction of its retail value.

In addition to the koi show, the event will host many Japanese cultural activities. On Saturday morning, there will be entertainment by taiko drummers and an ensemble of Japanese singers and dancers. During both days the public may participate in and learn from experts about Japanese doll making, watercolor painting and many other Japanese arts.

ZNA Southern California Chapter has more than 300 members and is the largest and oldest ZNA chapter in the United States. Club meetings are usually held on the third Sunday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon at a member’s home, where attendees can view ponds and koi, ask questions of experienced members, and enjoy the fellowship of other koi keepers.

For more information, call Alan Stein, show chairman, at (818) 470-6418 or email; call the Gardena Recreation and Human Services Department at (310) 217-9537; or visit

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