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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 9, 2010

'Ohana Festival in Mō'ili'ili

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

From left: Six-year-old Raquel Takayama learned how to write “love” in Japanese calligraphy at the 2008 New Year’s 'Ohana Festival. Dishes prepared by local kenjin kai (Japanese prefecture clubs) at the 2008 festival included Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (vegetables, noodles and meat layered between a crepe and fried egg). Kikaida will star at tomorrow’s festival, going up against Gill’s Monsters.

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Melissa Ching performed at last year’s 'Ohana Festival. There’ll be lots of Japanese dancing and drumming at tomorrow’s festival.

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The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i tomorrow will hold its New Year's 'Ohana Festival, with local and ethnic food and entertainment, cultural displays and demonstrations, a craft fair and a book sale.

Keiki activities include kimono dressing, make-and-take activities, games, jumpers and storytelling. Among the attractions this year: superheroes Kikaida and friends. There will be a "Kikada Brothers vs. Gill's Monsters" performance and autograph signing, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mō'ili'ili Field stage.

"The cultural center would like to share some of our Japanese traditions with the community while also showcasing the other diverse cultures and customs that make up our island state," Lenny Yajima Andrew, the center's president and executive director, said in a news release. The nonprofit JCCH aims to share the history, heritage and culture of the evolving Japanese-American experience in Hawai'i.

Festival entertainment is slated for two stages — one dedicated to Japanese and Okinawan performances, in the center's courtyard, and the other on Mō'ili'ili Field. Among performances: Japanese folk and classical dancing; Japanese sword and fan dancing; koto and shamisen; and Okinawan dancing and drumming.

A kimono dressing and photography session will let children dress up in elegant kimono and zori, and capture the day with a portrait. The kimono dressing costs $75 per child; center members get a 20 percent discount.

The Year of the Tiger festival runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free; scrip will be sold for food and other activities.

A free shuttle service will run between the University of Hawai'i-Mānoa's Dole Street parking structure and the center, at 2454 S. Beretania St. For more information, call the center at 945-7633 or go to www.jcch.com.