kimonoThe 44th annual Bunka-Sai (Japanese Cultural Festival) was held April 16 and 17 at the Ken Miller Recreation Center in Torrance. Sponsored by the Torrance Sister City Association, which sends local students to Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, the event featured an arts and crafts boutique, games, food booths, cultural exhibits, a children’s art display and craft area, and cultural performances. Above: Toshiko Okawa demonstrated how to tie an obi with models in yukata, hakama and tomesode formal wear.

judoStudents of all ages from South Bay Judo demonstrated throwing and falling techniques.

ikebanaIkenobo Kai gave an ikebana demonstration and flower arrangements were displayed throughout the weekend.

hulaOn Torino Plaza’s outdoor stage, Halau Keali’i O Nalani, under the direction of Kumu Hula Keali’i Ceballos, performed Japanese-inspired Hawaiian dance, including one to the tune of “Hana wa Saku,” the theme song for recovery in the Tohoku region following the 2011 tsunami.

origamiSouth Bay Origami gave lessons in the cultural exhibit area.

nakamura narumiNarumi Nakamura of Nihon Buyo Nakamura Ryu and her students performed traditional and classical Japanese dance.

tea ceremonyThe Urasenke School gave a tea ceremony demonstration.

craft boutiqueThe Arts and Crafts Boutique in Toyota Meeting Hall was a popular part of the festival.

warner and studentMegan Oliveros, who participated in the exchange program in 2014, discussed her experience with emcee Steve Warner, who has served as TSCA adult leader and board member. The emcee on Sunday was Tricia Takasugi.

fujima seiyumi kaiFujima Seiyumi Kai’s performance included audience participation. Entertainment also included taiko, kendo, naginata, calligraphy, shakuhachi, koto, karate, kamishibai (storytelling) and amezaiku (candy sculpture).

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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  1. I`ve been living in Japan for over 10 years and still fascinated with this unique country. I always discover something new about the land of the rising sun when there is a chance!