The Torrance Sister City Association will host its 47th Bunka-Sai Japanese Cultural Festival this weekend – after celebrations were halted for two consecutive years due to the pandemic.
The event will celebrate Torrance’s 50-year friendship with the Japanese town of Kashiwa on Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24 at the Ken Miller Recreation Center, 3330 Civic Center Drive. Although the event is free, the sale of food and beverages will help support the association’s student exchange program, which sends up to eight students from Torrance to Japan during the summer.
Those who attend the event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, can expect an array of activities including cultural arts performances in dance and music, tea ceremonies and martial arts exhibitions.
“LA Kimono Club members will explain and demonstrate the art of kimono,” reads a press release from the association, “and Japanese dance schools will perform classical and traditional dances.”
The event will include several musical performances.
Students and teachers, for example, will play with the Japanese 13-string zither, called koto; classical percussion instruments; and the shakuhachi, a traditional bamboo flute.
And four different taiko drum sets will open and close each day’s events. Sunday’s final is expected to draw large crowds, the association said. Visitors are encouraged to come early to “hear the thunder and excitement of the taiko drums,” the press release reads.
The festival will also feature lectures and hands-on demonstrations on flower arranging, bonsai, ink calligraphy and origami paper folding. Sunny Seki, an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, will make an appearance at this year’s Bunka-Sai, the sister city association has announced.
There will be more than 20 clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts vendors at this weekend’s event. The festival will also feature plenty of food and drink.
More information, including a calendar of events, is available on the Torrance Sister City Association website.