Sacramento’s Largest Japanese Cultural and Food Bazaar Celebrates Its 71st Year

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SACRAMENTO – The Buddhist Church of Sacramento’s Japanese Culture and Food Festival is a summertime tradition in Northern California. This annual event is on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12-13, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days.

Enjoy delicious, Japanese dishes, prepared right before your eyes. There will be everything from fresh fish-topped sushi, to succulent teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef sandwiches, Japanese pastries and more. There is something for everyone at the 71st annual Sacramento Buddhist Church Bazaar.

You can see fabulous performances by Japanese folk musicians, dancers and singers; hear thundering taiko drums; and experience Japanese musicians among other cultural entertainment. There will be ongoing exhibits featuring bonsai exhibits, Mataro kimekomi doll making demos, Japanese calligraphy, ikebana and other demonstrations.

On Saturday evening, The East Wind Band — Northern California’s premier funk, soul, R&B, and classic rock band — performs. They have opened for Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Hiroshima, Average White Band and other big-name entertainers.

Children’s games and prizes are a must for the little ones, and there are home-made desserts, both Japanese sweets and good old American cookies, pies and cakes.

After World War II, Japanese Americans had to rebuild their homes, lives and communities after returning to the Sacramento area from their forced evacuation to concentration camps. In 1947, the Japanese Bazaar began as a festive, social event for the Sacramento Nikkei residents celebrating food and friendship.

The bazaar is a major fundraiser for the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. This event supports the many affiliated organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth sports programs, the Japanese language school, and youth and senior organizations.

Free admission and free parking under the freeway, with a free, convenient shuttle bus that goes directly to the bazaar grounds every few minutes.

For more information, call (916) 446-0121 or visit www.buddhistchurch.com.

By the Numbers

• Over 2½ tons or 5,500 pounds of short-grain rice are used. About 1,500 pounds are cleaned, cooked and consumed in traditional Japanese cuisine, and the balance is used for game prizes.

• 3¾ tons or 7,500 pounds of chicken are prepared for teriyaki, grilled using two pallets of charcoal.

• Two tons, or 4,000 pounds of beef are prepared for the church’s world-famous teriyaki beef sandwiches and other dishes.

• 1,600 pounds of sugar and 100 pounds of salt are used for the various Japanese dishes prepared for the two-day event.

• Six tons or 12,000 pounds of ice are used to keep the sushi fish fresh, make refreshing snow cones, and keep drinks cold.

• 500 pounds of shrimp are prepared for tempura and sushi.

• 500 pounds of noodles are boiled for hot udon and cold somen dishes.

• 100 gallons of soy sauce are used in authentic Japanese marinades, broths and other dishes.

• Over 15,000 canned and bottled beverages, including soda, water, beer, sake, tea, coffee and fruit drinks, are purchased for the bazaar.

• More than 750 church members and friends volunteer to make the bazaar run as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.

• Estimated attendance for the bazaar is between 25,000 and 35,000 people.

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