Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bunka Sai


The South Bay of Los Angeles is home to a fairly diverse ethnic community. The city of Torrance in particular is home to a notable Japanese-American community. And this is really excellent because every year they hold a Japanese Festival at the city cultural center. It's called a Bunkasai festival, which means that it focuses primarily on demonstrating the accomplishments of students or amateur performers. There is a wide arrangement of activities on display.

Among the crafts on display were various Japanese dolls (ningyo), miniature trees (bonsai), and floral arrangements (ikebana). Here are a couple photos:

Bonsai Bougainvillea

Ikebana on display
 There was also a performance stage at which various things were being demonstrated, including music and martial arts. Here are a few that I was able to view:

Koto performance
 The koto is a traditional Japanese instruments with 13 strings. It has a gentle, zither-like song. I was very happy to catch this brief performance. Lovely.

Of course, one of my favorite traditional weapon martial art forms is the naginata. It's essentially a curved blade on a pole. Of course, the demonstrations use practice weapons. ;-)

Naginata demonstration
 I love the sweeps and thrusts of the weapon. There is a dance-like grace to the motions. Moreover, it is traditionally associated with women, although not exclusively so. Fun stuff!!!

Finally, there was some fine Japanese food to enjoy. Yum!!!

This was the 39th annual Bunka Sai festival in Torrance. Good times.

We can't let an opportunity to play some koto music pass. Here's a vid:

Here's a link to Ikenbana Society of America.

And here's a link to Southern Californa Naginata Federation.


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