A Festival with Aloha Spirit

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Monterey Park celebrated its 16th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on April 20 and 21 at Barnes Park. Those attending the festival were greeted with various yummy foods, handmade crafts, kids’ games, taiko, traditional Japanese dancing, martial arts, demonstrations and displays. Above: The young dancers of Halau Hula Moani’a’ala Anuhea show their aloha spirit prior to taking the stage.

Energetic drumming was provided by Yoki Daiko (pictured), Yuujou Daiko, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Jishin Taiko, Kishin Daiko, Koshin Taiko, Bombu Taiko, and Taiko Center of Los Angeles.

Karen Ogawa, 2013 festival chairperson, and an army of volunteers hosted a very successful event. Here Ogawa is at one of her posts, cooking up some scrumptious chicken teriyaki.

A Lolita Fashion Show was held on the indoor stage. This fashion subculture originated in Japan and is based on Victorian-era clothing as well as French Rococo costumes.

Attendees were introduced to traditional Japanese arts such as ikebana (pictured), origami, tea ceremony and kimekomi dolls.

News anchors Susan Hirasuna of KTTV/Fox 11 (pictured at the opening ceremony) and Frank Buckley of KTLA served as emcees.

The winners of the L.A. Kimono Club’s 2013 contest paid a visit. Third from left: Keiko Terashima, Miss Kimono first runner-up; center: Miss Kimono Lucia Scriven; third from right: Mr. Kimono Andrew Reeder.

The Mark Keppel High School Aztec Singers.

 

Takoyaki Tanota was among the businesses and organizations serving up Japanese delicacies.

Students from Monterey Park United Methodist Japanese School sold fresh strawberries.

Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo

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