Bunka No Hi: Japanese Culture Day in Hawaiʻi

The Japanese Community Association of Hawaiʻi hosted Bunka No Hi on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at the Sangha Hall in Hilo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Japanese Cultural Day

Bunka No Hi is a national holiday held annually in Japan on Nov. 3 for the purpose of promoting culture, the arts and academic endeavor. Festivities typically include art exhibitions, parades and award ceremonies for distinguished artists and scholars.

The theme at this years culture day was Okage Same De (I am what I am, because of you).

The day began with a short Omikoshi Parade from Aupuni Center to Sangha Hall which was lead by the Grand Marshall of the Parade former Governor George Ariyoshi.

Shichi-Go-San Kimono dressing and picture taking was done by the association as a fundraiser.

Shichi-Go-San is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for 3- and 7-year-old girls and 3 and 5-year-old boys, held annually on Nov. 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children.

Since Bunka No Hi is not a national holiday, it is generally observed on the nearest weekend. Nov. 18, 2017. Big Island Now photo.

There were many demos and displays on hand for folks to immerse themselves in the culture.

Bonzai at Bunka No Hi, Nov. 18, 2017. Big Island Now photo. 

The event included a bonsai demonstration by Moku Honua Bonsai Kai, a tea ceremony demo by Urasenke Hilo Shibu and ikebana displays.

Shuji/calligraphers wrote out phrases or messages. The event also included demonstrations on the Art of Soroban (abacus) and demonstrations on the Art of Eating Ramen Japanese Style and How to Cut & Present Sashimi.

Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth won the ramen eating contest, finishing a bowl of ramen in just one minute 28 seconds.

The 2017 Japanese Cultural Treasures were:

  • Takayoshi Kanda as the “Keeper of the Waiakea Tsunami Clock”
  • Akiko Masuda for her work on Mochitsuki and the  Mochitsuki Festival
  • Rondald Takeya for his work in Judo and working with students to instill and motivate each student to put one’s best effort into their judo

The Japanese Community Association is located at 714 Kanoelehua Ave., Ste. 202, in Hilo.

For more information, call (808) 969-6437 or email jcahawaii@yahoo.com.

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