Taiko drumming by Hachijo Aikoukai and L.A. Miyake Kai. (TOMOKO NAGAI/Rafu Shimpo)

The 47th annual Bunka-Sai Japanese Cultural Festival, presented by the Torrance Sister City Association, returned on April 23 and 24 to the Ken Miller Recreation Center with a large turnout both days. The event features food, arts and crafts, cultural performances and exhibits, with participants in Torrance’s student exchange program with Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, among the volunteers.

Demonstration by South Bay Judo Club (TOMOKO NAGAI/Rafu Shimpo)

The Cultural Exchange Program began in 1974. Every July, up to eight high school students who are sophomores, juniors or seniors and are residents of Torrance spend three weeks in Kashiwa as cultural representatives of Torrance and the U.S. They are accompanied by an adult leader. In August, students from Kashiwa come to Torrance for three weeks.

This year’s delegation from Torrance: Abigail Trattner, Bishop Montgomery; Jacob Diederich, South; Kaitlyn Kikuchi, West; Amanda Kang, West; Matthew Segovia, Torrance; Cole Moore, South (now attending CSU Long Beach); Cara Ihde, adult leader.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo (except where noted)

Kagocraft (basket weaving) table at Arts & Crafts Boutique. (TOMOKO NAGAI/Rafu Shimpo)
Classical dance by Wakahisa Kai. (TOMOKO NAGAI/Rafu Shimpo)
Beikoku Shodo Kenkyu Kai gave calligraphy demonstrations as well as lessons.
Origami workshop in the Assembly Room.
Kamishibai, Japanese story reading for kids.
Contemporary Japanese drumming by Taiko Effect.
Demonstration by Torrance Kendo Dojo.
Music by Yuki Yasuda and the L.A. Koto Ensemble.
Shan Ichiyanagi, aka Shan the Candyman, demonstrates his candy-sculpting skills.
Classical percussion by Fuji Japanese Music.
Demonstration by Dai Ichi Bonsai Kai.
Martial arts demonstration by Torrance Naginata Dojo.
Author/illustrator Sunny Seki demonstrates a Japanese toy, Tokuzo’s Climbing Ninja.
Music by Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory.
Children’s art was displayed by Saga Art Center.
Los Dokos and Units Two and One of Asano Taiko U.S. performed.

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