Mottainai! — in Japanese: No waste! — is this year’s theme for Bunka No Hi, or Japanese Culture Day in Hawaii, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin Sangha Hall in downtown Hilo.
In keeping with the theme of recycling and reuse, beautiful Japanese clothing and accessories have been provided by a number of families for the popular Shichi-go-san (which means 7-5-3) traditional kimono dressing and picture taking.
Kenji Kawai, president of the sponsoring Japanese Community Association of Hawaii (JCAH), invites everyone to participate and enjoy this special festival which celebrates Japanese culture. Admission is free.
In Japan, Shichi-Go-San is a festival commemorated by parents in mid-November to mark the growth of their children as they turn ages 3, 5 and 7. Girls are dressed in gorgeous ceremonial kimono and accessories, while boys are dressed in haori jackets and hakama pants.
At Bunka No Hi, Shichi-Go-San kimono dressing and photography will once again be offered. Expert kimono dressers led by Sakae Kaya will be busy all day, dressing girls 7 and 3 in beautiful kimono and all of the accessories, while boys, age 5, will be handsomely dressed in haori jackets and hakama. The cost is $35 for JCA members and $45 for non-members, which includes dressing, photography session, and two 5-by-7-inch photographs.
Reservations are required in advance and there are a limited number of opportunities. Call 959-7526 or 969-6437 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The organization also is looking for more children’s obi. If you have any that you’d like to share or donate, please call either phone number.
Other activities at Bunka No Hi will include entertainment by Nobuko Miyamoto (Mottainai and B.Y.O.Chopstix videos, and Mottainai bon dance); performance by Puna Taiko, demos, displays and the annual honoring of esteemed individuals as “Cultural Treasures.” Get personalized calligraphy done, for a small fee, and purchase food prepared by various kenjinkai groups. Also on sale will be Mottainai T-shirts and portable/re-usable chopsticks.
A Mottainai Recycled Art Contest is being staged in conjunction with Bunka No Hi.
Japanese Culture Day in Hawaii Chairwoman Jan Higashi invites everyone to create a work of art using such throwaway items as kamaboko sticks, tofu containers, foam food trays or related materials.
Artists should keep their creations within a maximum size of a 10-inch cube. Each piece must be original art made by the entrant. Drop off art by Thursday, Nov. 10, at the JCAH office on weekdays between 1 and 4 p.m. The office is at 714 Kanoelehua Ave., Suite 202, upstairs in the Hawaii Printing Building next to American Mattress.
The works of art, along with announcement of winners and prizes, will be displayed at Bunka No Hi on Nov. 19. For more info on the contest, please call 969-6437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bunka No Hi is sponsored by the JCAH, the County of Hawaii and KTA Super Stores.