Monday | December 11, 2017
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JCAH to honor cultural treasures: Public invited to Bunka No Hi festival at Sangha Hall

The Hilo-based Japanese Community Association of Hawaii will honor its three 2017 Japanese Cultural Treasures during the biennial Japanese Culture Day, or Bunka No Hi, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Sangha Hall.

This year’s cultural day theme is “Okage Sama De,” a Japanese phrase which translates to “I am what I am because of you.” Admission is free.

The festivities kick off with a short Omikoshi parade at 9 a.m. starting at the Aupuni Center on Kilauea Avenue and ending at Sangha Hall. Former Gov. George Ariyoshi, along with his wife, Jean, will serve as grand marshals.

The Bunka No Hi program begins at 10 a.m. and includes a tribute to individuals noted for perpetuating Japanese culture on the Big Island, said JCAH President Ivan Nakano.

The three cultural treasures selected are:

• Takayoshi Kanda, who is 99 years of age and known as the “Keeper of the Waiakea Tsunami Clock.”

• Akiko Masuda, the founder of the Wailea Mochi Pounding Festival.

• Ronald Takeya, who has been a judo practitioner and sensei for more than 42 years. The three will also ride in a convertible in the Omikoshi parade.

The program also will include recognition of JCAH members 90 years and older

There also will be performances by koto master Darin Miyashiro and his Hilo students, Taishoji Taiko and a special dance presentation by a visiting delegation from Izu Oshima Island in Japan.

In 1962, Izu Oshima became the first sister island to the Island of Hawaii, through an agreement established between former Mayor Thomas Cook and Oshima Mayor Toyonosuke Fujii.

Hidehito Uki, president and owner of Sun Noodle in Honolulu, will give a presentation on eating ramen Japanese style, followed by a ramen slurping competition. Other demonstrations include Hideaki Oshima of the Araki Hiroya Soroban School on the art of the soroban, aikido by Hilo Shin Shin Toitsu, and Hilo’s Mark Pomaski of Moon and Turtle on “how to cut and present sashimi.” Experienced calligraphers also will be on hand to write your name or message for a fee.

Other displays and demos include bonsai by Moku Honua Bonsai Kai, tea ceremony by Urasenke Hilo Shibu, washi chigiri-e by sensei Lily Nakao and her Hilo students, shibori and oshibana by Kim Springer, and shishu by Stephanie Nagata. Food concessions and event T-shirts also will be available for sale.

For more information about the festival or the Japanese Community Association of Hawaii, visit


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