Spring, Sakura and Sumo

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Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival, Day 1

USA SUMO demoThe annual Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival was held April 16 and 17 at Barnes Park, with visitors enjoying sunshine and pleasant temperatures over the two-day event. Above and below: USA Sumo staged an exhibition that included an appearance by Yama, the former professional wrestler who at over 600 pounds was the heaviest man ever to compete in Japan’s ancient sport.

usa sumo demo Yama amd Takeshi

Halau Hula a ala AnuheaAbove and below: Monterey Park-based Halau Hula Moani’a’ala Anuhea, under the direction of Christina Aiu-Quezada, performed on the outdoor stage.

Halau Hula a ala Anuhea2

classical japanese dance:nancy hayata & coClassical Japanese dance was performed by Nancy Hayata & Co. on the indoor stage.

david torres kempo karateDemonstration by David Torres Kempo Karate.

cosplay kidsSome attendees dressed as their favorite anime/manga characters and participated in Infotakus’ cosplay runway and fashion show.

setsuko okubo artistSetsuko Okubo was among the artists displaying their works.

food courtMenu items in the food court included takoyaki, salmon teriyaki, won ton, and passion fruit and wintermelon tea.

volunteer cookThe Cherry Blossom Festival Committee served chicken teriyaki.

fugetsudo boothLIttle Tokyo’s Fugetsudo sold manju and mochi confections.

MP police deptThe Monterey Park Police Department had a recruitment booth.

tanabata volunteersAbove and below: The L.A. Tanabata Festival showed attendees how to make paper flowers for kazari, the colorful decorations that will be displayed at the festival this summer in Little Tokyo.

learning to make tanabata

sogetsu ikebana

Sogetsu Ikebana offered mini-flower arranging classes.

MP volunteersMany young volunteers supported the festival.

game at water district boothA game and giveaways at the San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District booth.

japanese tea ceremony urasenke schoolThe Urasenke School gave tea ceremony demonstrations.

oca-gla voter registeringOCA-Greater Los Angeles conducted a voter registration drive aimed at Asian Americans.

bernie sanders volunteersOne booth offered a suggestion on whom to vote for.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo

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