Hula dancers at last year's carnival. (Rafu Shimpo photo)
Hula dancers at last year’s carnival. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

GARDENA — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute’s 2015 Carnival-Matsuri will be held on Saturday, June 27, from 12 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 28, from 12 to 7 p.m.

GVJCI’s annual fundraiser has much to offer by way of food, games, entertainment, and cultural demonstrations.

Organizations and individuals who use the GVJCI facilities throughout the year support the GVJCI by running the game and food booths. The delicious food dishes include udon, somen, chicken and beef teriyaki, yakisoba, Imagawayaki, 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, fruits, and beautiful plants for the produce market booth.

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, youth community bands, and more. In addition to live entertainment, game booths provide even more entertainment for all with games ranging from basketball to pachinko and much more.

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

On the second floor of the GVJCI Hall Building is a themed library known as The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center, complete with a tokonoma display decorating the hallway. Used books are sold at the book sale alongside hands-on activities and 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. Additionally, there are hourly 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 GVJCI office and supporting organizations pre-sell Carnival-Matsuri coupon books. Each book costs $10 and includes ten individual $1 scrip redeemable at all booths, as well as stubs that can be turned in for the hourly raffle drawing.

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

The schedule is as follows:

Saturday, June 27

Outdoor Entertainment

12-12:20 p.m.: Asano Taiko U.S./Los Angeles Taiko Institute

12:25-12:30 p.m.: MAPFRE/Commerce West Insurance donor presentation

12:30-12:45 p.m.: 2015 GVJCI Scholarship awardees

12:50-1:10 p.m.: Fujima Seiyumi Kai

1:15-1:30 p.m.: Choichi Kai Los Angeles (Okinawan music)

1:35-1:55 p.m.: GVJCI Senior Hula–Harriet Nagata

GVJCI Hall (Basement Level)

2-2:20 p.m.: Shorinji Kempo South Bay

Outdoor Entertainment

2:25-2:40 p.m.: Halau Ke’ Ala O Na Lei Milo

2:45-2:55 p.m.: GVJCI Tai Chi-Misako Tsuchida

3-3:20 p.m.: Na Pua O Lanaki

GVJCI Hall (Basement Level)

3:25-3:45 p.m.: Southern California Kyudo Renmei

3:50-4:10 p.m.: Southern California Naginata Federation

4:15-4:35 p.m.: Gardena JCI Kendo


5-9 p.m.: Bingo

Sunday, June 28

Outdoor Entertainment

12-12:30 p.m.: GVJCI Senior Ukulele–Chika Nagata

12:35-1:05 p.m.: Kanani Kalama Hula Studio

GVJCI Hall (Basement Level)

1:10-1:30 p.m.: Kaizen Dojo

1:35-1:55 p.m.: Gardena Kendo Club

Outdoor Entertainment

2-2:20 p.m.: Aloha Picking Ohana-Mel Ogata

2:30-2:45 p.m.: GVJCI Line Dance–Terri Slemmons and Jean Inouye

2:50-3:10 p.m.: Second Sunday JAM–Michael Murata and Gary Yano

GVJCI Hall (Basement Level)

3:15-3:35 p.m.: American Shotokan Karate of California

3:40-4 p.m.: Gardena Judo Club


4-7 p.m.: Bingo

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