The 43rd annual Bunka-Sai (Japanese cultural festival) was presented by the Torrance Sister City Association on April 25 and 26 at the Ken Miller Recreation Center in Torrance. Above: Bando Hidesomi introduces her classical dance students (from right), Riko Yamada, Leia Koppers, Manami Kawakami and Airi Shinozaki. Traditional dance was also performed by Mai no Kai with shamisen accompaniment.
Neeley Wauke of the Awaya School takes questions after a koto concert.
Members of Beikoku Shodo Kenkyukai write the same four characters (bird, song, flower and dance) in different styles of Japanese calligraphy.
TSCA exchange students and local high school students performed kamishibai, traditional Japanese storytelling.
Leilani Kimmel-Dagostino was among the volunteers at the TSCA’s gift booth in the craft boutique section.
Sunday’s emcee, broadcast journalist Tricia Takasugi, with Allison Sueyoshi of North High and Chris Hsiao of West High, two of the Torrance students who will visit Kashiwa in July. Also going to Japan are Mikaela Frichtel (Bishop Montgomery), Alexander Ito (West), Garrett Reeve (South), Nikola Stojcic (South), Julia Takeshi (South), Ronan Todd (West) and Sherri Crowson (adult leader). Saturday’s emcee was TSCA President Dr. Dan Fichtner.
Shoshi Kanokohata performed on different types of shakuhachi and answered questions about the traditional bamboo flute. There was also a folk dance performance by Matsutoyo Kai.
Local children’s artwork was displayed.
Martial arts demonstrations were given by Torrance Aikido (pictured), South Bay Judo, Torrance Naginata Dojo, Torrance Kendo and USA Wado-ryu Karate-do, Torrance YMCA.
Saga Children’s Art Center hosted a bracelet-making table for kids.
Food for sale included sweets like cotton candy (pictured), dango and manju as well as dishes like curry rice, barbecue plate lunches and Spam musubi.
Featured drumming groups were Prota Taiko (pictured), L.A. Taiko Center, L.A. Taiko Institute, and Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Los Angeles Branch.
The event also included an anime drawing contest; a kimono lecture; a candy artist; displays of ikebana, bonsai, kimekomi dolls and roketsu (dyeing); tea ceremony; games for children; and hourly drawings. Proceeds benefit the Torrance-Kashiwa student exchange program.
J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo