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Bunka No Hi: Japanese Culture Day event includes popular kimono dressing

The Hilo-based Japanese Community Association of Hawaii presents its biennial Japanese Culture Day or, Bunka No Hi, featuring cultural activities and displays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 18 at Sangha Hall.

A short Omikoshi parade at 9 a.m. on Kilauea Avenue precedes the event. Former Gov. George Ariyoshi, along with his wife, Jean, will serve as grand marshal. Ariyoshi also will host a “talk story” as part of the day’s activities.

A popular attraction at Bunka No Hi is the Shichi-go-san — kimono dressing and picture-taking for girls ages 7 and 3, and boys age 5. Shichi-go-san (seven-five-three in Japanese) is a traditional rite of passage and festival in Japan celebrating the growth and well-being of young children and usually takes place the weekend closest to Nov. 15.

Experienced kimono dressers will dress the girls in beautiful kimono, obi and accessories. Boys will be dressed in hakama, a traditional Japanese trouser. The fee is $40 for JCAH members or $50 for non-members, which includes dressing, photography session and two prints in a 4-by-6-inch commemorative double photo in a frame.

Information and application forms are available by calling the JCAH office at 969-6437; via email at or online at

The nonprofit Japanese Community Association of Hawaii has a membership of nearly 400 families. The JCAH was formed 43 years ago to promote and perpetuate the Japanese culture and arts in East Hawaii and to foster international relationships with Japanese citizens and organizations.


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