Performers on the festival stage included singers and musicians from Matsutoyo Kai.

TORRANCE — The City of Torrance Community Services Department presented the annual Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival on March 26 at Columbia Park. The annual event featured pan-Asian performances, a craft fair, and food trucks and booths.

A mikoshi was displayed.

Festivities started with a mikoshi (portable shrine) procession by Rafu Mutsumi Kai and Myo’on Taiko, and opening remarks by city officials.

Left: Young violinists from Viorhythm. Right: Japanese classical dance from Fujima Seiyumi Kai.

Performances included Japanese scale on sitar by Aloke Dasgupta and Raga Ranjani; Viorhythm, a youth pop violin group; classical dance by Fujima Seiyumi Kai; Irvine Cheerleaders; drumming by Asano Taiko U.S.; and folk music by Matsutoyo Kai.

Local artisans displayed their crafts.

Community participants included organizers of the WWII Camp Wall, to be located in Columbia Park, which will include the names of thousands of Japanese Americans incarcerated by the government during the war; the Torrance Sister City Association, which holds student exchanges with Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, and hosts the annual Bunka-Sai in April; and the Torrance Rose Float Association, which puts together the city’s float in the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Children’s author Sunny Seki shows copies of his book “The Tale of the Lucky Cat” in different languages.

Visitors also took the time to admire the park’s blooming cherry blossom trees.

Food trucks and booths included Okamoto Kitchen.

The festival was co-presented by Soka Gakkai International USA, Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild, and North Torrance Neighborhood Association. SGI donated 20 cherry blossom trees to the city in 2012.

Sitar music led by Aloke Dasgupta and Raga Ranjani.
Students from the Torrance Sister City Association.
The Irvine Cheerleaders.

Drummers from Torrance-based Asako Taiko U.S.
Kanji Sahara was among the volunteers promoting the WWII Camp Wall, which will be located in Columbia Park.

Photos by J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo

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