By SHOKO ARAKI
HUNTINGTON BEACH — The Orange Coast Gakuen Choir, directed by Mari Paxton, will be singing “Hana wa Saku” (Flowers Are Blooming) at Japan Night 2016 at Saddleback Church South Campus in Irvine on Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m.
It has been five years since the Tohoku are of Japan was hit with a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which quake triggered powerful tsunami waves sweeping away cars and planes, flooding buildings and destroying entire towns. In addition, the tsunami caused nuclear accidents that further added to the devastation.
Saddleback Church Japan Night is a special night of music and hope in memory of the victims of this overwhelming disaster. Many talented singers and performers will participate in this event.
“Hana wa Saku” was produced by NHK, Japan’s largest broadcasting organization, and was written and originally performed by artists with strong ties to the devastated areas.
Saddleback Church South Campus is located at 18842 Teller Ave. in Irvine. The event is free, but donations will be accepted and all proceeds will go to the victims of the Tohoku earthquake.
Since the disaster, Saddleback Church has been actively involved in this annual event to support and raise funds for the victims. The organizers encourage the public to attend.
The Orange Coast Gakuen Choir is a special choir formed from students and parents of the Orange Coast Gakuen Japanese Language School (OCG), a nonprofit organization located in Huntington Beach and dedicated to offering quality education in Japanese language and culture to students of all ages, including students ages 5-18, high school, and adults.
A pre-school-age head-start program called Mikan Club is available. Children learn Japanese songs, hear Japanese stories, do crafts, and participate in some Japanese cultural events. Japanese calligraphy and Japanese flower arrangement classes are also available.
OCG will have an information booth at Japan Night 2016. For more information, visit www.orangecoastgakuen.org or call (714) 235-5559.