The Hilo-based Japanese Community Association of Hawaii will hold its biennial Japanese Culture Day, or Bunka No Hi, on Saturday, Nov. 14, in the Sangha Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the perpetual theme of “Mottainai3!” Mottainai is a Japanese word meaning “wasteful,” or don’t waste. Admission to the event is free.

The festivities will begin at 9:30 a.m. with an Omikoshi parade. The parade will start in the Aupuni Center’s mauka parking lot and end at the Sangha Hall. Parade participants will include the 2015 Japanese Cultural Treasures, Puna Taiko, Hilo Kobukan Kendo Club, Hilo Hongwanji Kendo and Judo clubs and others.

The Bunka No Hi program will begin immediately after the parade. The 2015 Japanese Cultural Treasures will be honored and JCAH members who are 90 years and older will be recognized.

Cultural entertainment will include Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, sanshin master and instructor Grant “Sandaa” Murata and his wife Chikako from Honolulu; and demonstrations by the Hilo Hongwanji Judo and Hilo Kobukan Kendo clubs.

Demonstrations and displays will include moku hanga (a style of woodblock printing), tea ceremony, mochitsuki (mochi pounding), bonsai, ikebana, kumihimo and chigiri-e. The Buzen City Kagura and Jazz performers will also demonstrate their art.

Experienced calligraphers will be on hand to write your name or a message for a fee. A limited supply of Mottainai3 T-shirts will be available for purchase along with a variety of foods.

Shichi-go-san kimono dressing and picture taking will also be available. Experienced kimono dressers will dress girls, ages 3 and 7, in kimono, while boys age 5 will be dressed in a hakama. The cost — $45 for JCAH members and $50 for non-members — includes the dressing and a 4×6 framed photograph taken by a professional photographer. Contact JCAH for more information.

There will also be a recycled art contest and awards presentation centered around the festival’s perpetual theme, “Mottainai.” The contest is sponsored by Mr. K’s Recycling.

Application forms and rules for the Mottainai recycled art contest and Shichi-go-san dressing can be obtained by calling the JCAH office at (808) 969-6437; email or via the website

“Bunka no Hi” resumes in the evening with a concert in the Sangha Hall at 6 p.m. The concert will feature the Kagura and Jazz Orchestra, featuring 36 taiko drummers, a jazz orchestra and Kagura artists from Buzen City, Fukuoka. Kagura is a Japanese word referring to a style of Shinto theatrical dance and music with roots that predate Noh.

Admission is $10 per person and free for children under 10 years old. Tickets can be purchased at KTA Super Stores in Downtown Hilo and Puainako.

The Japanese Community Association of Hawaii is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and perpetuating Japanese culture and arts in East Hawaii and to fostering international relationships with Japanese citizens and organizations.


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