The 13th Los Angeles Tanabata Festival returned to the Japanese American National Museum on Aug. 12 as part of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival.
The kazari (decorations) created by the community were unveiled in the Aratani Central Hall as part of JANM’s annual Natsumatsuri Family Festival.
For the 2023 Tanabata Festival, 51 kazari were submitted by the community. This year’s contest had three categories: Kenjinkai (prefectural associations), Families and Individuals, and Nonprofit Organizations. First-place winners were awarded $50 cash prizes; second- and third-place winners received gift certificates.
The winners are as follows:
Kenjinkai – First place, Hiroshima Kenjinkai (Tak Sorida); second place, Hiroshima Kenjinkai (Tak Sorida); third place, Miyagi Kenjinkai (Shuichi Sonekawa)
Families/Individuals — First place, Yoshihito Yonezawa; second place, Noriko Shibata; third place, Poppy Kwong
Nonprofit Organizations — First place, George Mori, America MIyazaki; second place, NALC USA (Jay Sudo); third place, Taishi Judo Club (Rob Oishi)
Judges from the community included Kristin Fukushima, Little Tokyo Community Council; Susan Yokoyama, Pacific Citizen; Julie Zhu, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center; Ariele Valdez, Little Tokyo Business Association; Nora Duffie and Gino Abraijano, Japanese American National Museum; and Gail Matsui, L.A. Tanabata Festival.
Title sponsor ($5,000): The Aratani Foundation
Corporate sponsor ($1,000): Yoshihito Yonezawa
Amanoawa ($500): Poppy Kwong and friends
Orihime ($200): M Kadogawa
Hikoboshi ($100): Drs. David and Leiko Dahlgren, Takami Igawa, Hisamori Iwashita, Shon, Lisa, Jax and Ryer Kanemori, Kanagawa Kenjinkai, Nanka Ehime Kenjinkai, Kazue Kitagaito, Los Angeles EyeCare (now part of Total Vision), Angel J. Quinones, Allen and Uzuko Shiroshi, Richard Watanabe
Tanzaku ($50): Musashi and Michelle Kanemori, Toshiko Muto, Hiroko Oyama, Hiroko Takano, Toshiko Yamashige, Toshiko Yamashita, Yoshiyuki and Kohki Yonezawa, Tsuyoshi Yonezawa and Midori Walters, Mayumi Hori, Yoshiko Ehara
Tomodachi ($25): Takako Matsuda, Kiyoko Katelynn Kanemori, Korey Kito, Yoshio Homma, D.C., Poppy Kwong, June Oshiro, Chieko Arase.
Special thanks to kazari sponsor Shiramatsuga Monoka Confectionery, who provides the award-winning kazari from the Tanabata Festival in Sendai, and facility sponsor Quon Yick Noodle Co.
The L.A. Tanabata Festival provides workshops on how to make kazari at their office at the JACCC, 244 S. San Pedro St., Room 405A. For more information, contact Miyako Kadogawa at firstname.lastname@example.org. For office appointments, call Junko Yonezawa at (323) 742-2494 or (323) 721-8523.
Follow the L.A. Tanabata Festival at: https://sites.google.com/view/latanabatafestival/home