What can you expect at the 47th annual Bunka-Sai Japanese Cultural Festival in Torrance? An Asia-themed craft fair with over 15 vendors; cultural performances in dance, music, tea ceremony, and martial arts; ikebana, shodo, and bonsai exhibits and demonstrations; food (including shaved ice) and beverage sales — -all part of the exciting schedule from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24.
Be there at 11 a.m. to hear the thunder and excitement of taikodrums. Admission and parking are free for the event, which offers attendees an opportunity to experience a little bit of Japan at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.
A treat for the eyes will be a presentation by members of the L.A. Kimono Club, who will explain traditional attire. The classical dance group Wakahisa Kai, under the instruction of Wakayagi Hisame, will feature four performers, and Nihon buyo group Mai no Kai, led by instructor Bando Hiromiya, will present her youngest students ages 3, 5, and 7. Minyo, or Japanese folk singing, will be performed by Matsutoyo Kai, and koto performances will be presented by Yuki Yasuda and the L.A. Koto Ensemble and by Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory under the direction of Yoko Awaya.
Additional musical presenters will be Shawn Schroeder of the shakuhachi school Kinko-ryu, who is also a shakuhachi craftsman; and Madame Katada Kimisen of Fuji Japanese Music, who will showcase classical Japanese percussion instruments.
Other stage highlights include martial arts demonstrations by South Bay Judo Club, Torrance Kendo Dojo, Torrance Naginata Dojo, and Wado-Ryu Karate Do; Japanese tea ceremony by Urasenke Tanko Kai Los Angeles; and shodo (Japanese calligraphy) by Beikoku Shodo Kenkyu Kai.
Four taiko programs will open and close each day’s events: L.A. Miyake Kai and Hachijo Aikoukai; Taiko Effect; Asano Youth; and the thrilling finale by Los Angeles Taiko Institute (LATI).
All this and more at the Ken Miller Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Blvd. at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center (next to the James Armstrong Theatre). Come and enjoy the activities and performances at this annual event, which benefits the student exchange program of the Torrance Sister City Association (TSCA), which in 2023 will celebrate its 50-year friendship with the City of Kashiwa in Japan.
Visit TSCA’s website, http://torrancesistercity.org (under Bunka-Sai). Anime fans can participate in the anime contest, which is open to middle and high school students. Winners will be presented with monetary prizes at the Bunka-Sai on Saturday.