Hawai'i State News

Japanese culture day Bunka No Hi coming to Hilo November 18

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Taishoji Taiko. Photo Courtesy: Matthiew Miyamoto

The Hilo-based Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i is sponsoring its Japanese Culture Day or Bunka No Hi, on Nov. 18 at the Sangha Hall from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This year’s event is themed “Genki.” Admission is free.

“We are so pleased that the community can once again enjoy Japanese Culture Day, as our last in-person event was in 2019,” said Lincoln Ashida, president of the Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i.


The festivities kick off with a short Omikoshi parade starting at the Aupuni Center on Kilauea Avenue and ending at Sangha Hall at 9:30 am. The mikoshi is a portable shrine which is carried during many festivals in Japan. AJA Veteran Isamu Kanekuni, 101, who served in the famed 442nd Combat Team, will be the grand marshal.

The Bunka No Hi program begins at 10 a.m. at Sangha Hall and includes honoring the Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i members 90 years and older. The featured entertainer is Dazzman “Dazz” Toguchi, a fourth generation Okinawan-American and master of Ryukyu Buyo (Okinawan dance) and Nihon Shinbuyo (Japanese dance) who has graced the stages around the world, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Carnegie Hall in New York. Puna Taiko will be performing Shishimai, a traditional Japanese lion dance.

The program also includes performances by Taishoji Taiko and Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko and demonstrations by Hilo Hongwanji Judo, Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, and Zen Archery by Russell Ogata, formerly of Pahala. Pa’auilo native Pieper Toyama, author of “Family Stories from the Plantation and Beyond” will be telling stories and signing books.


Other displays and demos include shibori with Kim Springer, tea ceremony, washi chigiri-e, bonsai and ikebana. Experienced calligraphers will be on hand to write your name or message for a fee. KTA and Big Island Docs are providing an on-site vaccination clinic from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. inside Sangha Hall. Food concessions and a limited number of event t-shirts will also be available for sale.

The Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i is a non-profit organization with a membership of nearly 400 families. The Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i was formed 51 years ago to promote and perpetuate the Japanese culture and arts in East Hawai‘i and to foster international relationships with Japanese citizens and organizations. For more information or to join, visit www.jcah.org.

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