Mark Sadamitsu and Kris Leese fire up the grill for teriyaki chicken.

The rhythms of Chikara Daiko welcomed all to Centenary United Methodist Church’s annual Arigato Bazaar. Enticing aromas filled the air — the promise of a delicious food fest to be enjoyed. Joyful voices were raised in greeting as family, friends, and community enjoyed reconnecting after emerging from their pandemic cocoons.

The weather was perfect for eating under the tents. With so many choices, there wasn’t enough time to sample all of the goodies. Empty plates and bags of food to take home were evident as people enjoyed conversation and the myriad of entertainment groups. 

You could eat Spam musubi and Asian chicken salad as you watched Akua Ohana O’Hula or a teriyaki half-chicken dinner or a beef bento as you enjoyed the dancing of Kotobuki no Kai. Udon, sushi, chirashi, and char siu baos were great accompaniments to performances of the Kid City Band or Jonathan Oyama’s Steel Drums. 

Rev Ki Choi and Bazaar Chair Michele Nagata welcome everyone to the bazaar.

For dessert, there were great homemade treats from the pastry booth, strawberry shortcake, manju, or freshly popped popcorn for those wanting a salty treat — all great choices as you listened to the taiko groups, Hikari Taiko, J-Town Taiko, Bombu Taiko and Chikara Daiko.

The Country Store, a room full of tables laden with treasures for the home, was a great place to pick up bargains and get a little exercise as you wandered the aisles hoping to find that special something. The handcrafted booth offered one-of-a-kind handmade items. Ikebana arrangements by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Ohara School of Ikebana filled a corner of the Social Hall.

As the day ended, the crowds moved inside as the Silent Auction began its closing countdown. Winners were elated with their purchases – whether tickets to special events, a great bottle of wine, gift baskets, antique Japanese dolls, or whatever appealed.

Sushi and manju were very popular items.

Centenary thanks all who attended, helped, performed, and just made it a very special day. Special thanks to Bazaar Chair Michele Nagata and Bazaar Advisor Ted Yamada. If you missed this event, join us next year on the first Saturday in May.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *