Tanabata Festival’s Prize-Winning Kazari

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SoCal Tokushima Club (Kenjinkai), Gedatsu Church (Theme and People’s Choice), America Miyazaki Kenjinkai (Anime/Manga and Founders Award)

The Los Angeles Tanabata Festival celebrated its 11th anniversary as part of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival on Aug. 10 and 11 in Little Tokyo.

The festival is known for its 7-foot kazari decorations hung in the Aileen Getty Plaza at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. The kazari are inspired by the long-running Tanabata Festival in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.

In addition to 10 award-winning kazari shipped from Sendai, the festival features a kazari contest with entries from individuals and groups in various categories. Community judges choose the winners, except for the People’s Choice Award, which goes to the kazari that got the most votes from attendees on Aug. 10. The Founders Award goes to the overall winner among the first-place winners.

America Miyazaki Kenjinkai (Anime/Manga); OCJAA (Nonprofit); Yasuko Sanaka (Individual/Family)

Following are this year’s results:

Founders Award

America Miyazaki Kenjinkai (Anime/Manga Category)

People’s Choice Award

Gedatsu Church (Theme: “Romance in the Stars”)

Received 107 out of 474 votes

Anime/Manga

First Place: America Miyazaki Kenjinkai

Second Place: Noriko Shibata

OC Japanese American Association (Nonprofit), America Miyazaki Kenjinkai (Anime/Manga), San Gabriel Services Center (Government), Natural Nails by Yasko and Salon Tosca (Business)

SoCal Tokushima Club (Kenjinkai)

Japanese Prefectural Associations

First Place: SoCal Tokushima Club

Second Place: Nanka Gifu Kenjinkai

Third Place: Nanka Hiroshima Kenjinkai

Fourth Place: Shiga Club

Fifth Place: L.A. Yamanishi Kenjinkai

Business

First Place: Natural Nails by Yasko & Salon Tosca

Government

First Place: San Gabriel Valley Services Center

Theme

First Place: Gedatsu Church

Gedatsu Church (Theme)

Second Place: Nanka Hiroshima Kenjinkai

Third Place: Nanka Ehime Kenjinkai

Family/Individuals

First Place: Yasuko Sanaka

Second Place: Susan Purple Jekari

Third Place: Poppy Kwong

Fourth Place: Poppy Kwong

Fifth Place: Teramachi

Nonprofits/Schools/Churches

First Place: OC Japanese American Association

Second Place: Little Tokyo Historical Society

Third Place: San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center

San Gabriel Valley Services Center (Government)

Fourth Place: Far East Lounge/Little Tokyo Service Center

Fifth Place: Japanese Language School

2019 Kazari Breakdown

109 kazari

30 nonprofits

18 family/individuals

15 kenjinkai

3 theme

2 anime

1 business

1 government

39 display only

Photos by BRAD MATSUDA

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