Taiko Center of the Pacific and New Year's Ohana Festival - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Taiko Center of the Pacific and New Year's Ohana Festival

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Come celebrate with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii as it ushers in 2010 with its biggest celebration, the New Year's 'Ohana Festival, on Sunday, January 10, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Cultural Center and M¨­'ili'ili Field will transform into a showcase of local and ethnic cuisine and entertainment; cultural art displays and demonstrations; a craft fair and book sale. Keiki activities include kimono dressing, make-n-take activities, games, jumpers and storytelling.

Cost: Admission is free. Scrip for food and other activities (games, jumpers and keiki crafts) can be purchased.

Free Parking: A free shuttle service will run between the University of Hawai'i at M¨¡noa's Dole Street parking structure and the Cultural Center throughout the day. Parking is free at the UH Parking Structure, Dole Street (Lower Campus).

For more information, call the Cultural Center at (808) 945-7633, email info@jcch.com or go to www.jcch.com.

The festival's main attraction this year is Hawaii's favorite superheroes, Kikaida and friends. They will perform and sign autographs at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on the M¨­iliili Field Stage.

The Cultural Center will usher in 2010 with the following fanfare:


During the festival, visitors can learn about various aspects of Japanese culture in Hawai‗i at stations such as:

  • The Classic Bonsai Club will display Japanese miniature potted plants, and people can also bring their own plants for advice;
  • Oahu Anime Explorer and the Kawaii Kon will showcase popular anime (Japanese animation) in the Cultural Center Gallery Theater;
  • Professional calligraphers will demonstrate the art of Japanese calligraphy, or shod¨­, and write good wishes or other sayings in kanji (Japanese characters) on shikishi (calligraphy board).
  • Other hands-on activities include origami (paper folding), chigirie (paper tearing art), kumihimo (cord making via braiding) gyotaku (Japanese fish printing) and shishu (an elegant Japanese embroidery technique).
  • Omamori, or good-luck talisman, ofuda (charms) and kumade (New Year's rake) can also be purchased from The Daijingu Temple of Hawaii, Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha - Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu and Izumo Taishakyo Mission of Hawai‗i.
  • Storytelling by Aunty Jan (Janice Terukina Morimoto) and Jeff Gere's wacky tale telling will be featured in the Cultural Center Gallery Theater.
  • There will also be traditional tea ceremony demonstrations throughout the day in the Cultural Center Seik¨­an Tea House.


This year's entertainment takes place on two stages-one dedicated to Japanese and Okinawan performances in the Cultural Center Courtyard and the other stage on M¨­iliili Field. More than 20 cultural performances will be showcased, such as: Japanese folk and classical dancing, Japanese sword and fan dancing, koto and shamisen will be performed; as well as Okinawan dancing and drumming. The New Year's Ohana Festival's main attraction is The Kikada Brothers vs. Gill's Monsters.


Festival-goers can enjoy local and specialty foods prepared by O'ahu kenjin kai (Japanese prefecture clubs), such as:

  • Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, a unique prefecture dish that layers vegetables, yakisoba (stir-fried noodles) and meat between a crepe and fried egg that is sprinkled with aonori (dried seaweed; Iwakuni sushi, a special prefecture dish prepared by using a square mold to shape the sushi rice.
  • Several different types of mochi (glutinous rice cakes) are also being featured: Mitarashi dango, a rice dumpling with a sweet-salty sauce; grilled mochi with nori, daifuku (good luck) mochi, kohaku mochi (red and white mochi), as well as local favorite butter mochi.
  • Freshly pounded mochi with azuki (glutinous rice that is steamed and pounded into rice cakes and filled with red bean paste), will be prepared by the Tenrikyo Hawaii Dendocho during three mochitsuki (mochi-making) demonstrations on M¨­'ili'ili Field. Festival-goers can sample the complimentary treats and even braver festival-goers can try the mochi-making technique of rolling and moistening the rice in a large usu (stone mortar) while a demonstrator systematically hits the rice with a heavy wooden kine (mallet).

Other fun foods on the festival menu include: KC Waffle Dogs, Erin's Shave Ice and Cotton Candy Co., Okinawan andagi (doughnuts), local plate lunches from Hawaiian Roasted Corn and Marians Catering, and ITO EN (USA), Inc. specialty drinks and teas.


This area features fun activities for the kids while also being educational. Keiki can play more than 10 games and make-n-take various cultural activities that are said to bring good fortune and good luck in a New Year. Fire Truck Hawaii will give festival-goers a unique ride on one of its antique fire trucks around M¨­iliili. Large jumpers will also be available for children to enjoy.


Book lovers can browse through hundreds of new and used publications in Japanese and English language. Cultural Center members will receive one free book and a 20-percent discount off the books (membership card must be shown).

Find all ¨Dthings Japanese¡¬ and a treasure trove of other unique Japanese clothing, dish sets, antique items and collectibles at this annual sale. Cultural Center members receive 50% off select items. All sale proceeds go toward the Cultural Center's educational programs and cultural activities presented throughout the year.


This area offers festival-goers the opportunity to buy made-in-Hawai‗i trinkets, one-of-a-kind clothing and fun items.


Due to this event's popularity, a kimono dressing and photography session will give children the chance to dress up in elegant kimono and z¨­ri and capture the day with a special portrait. Kimono dressing cost is $75 per person; $60 per person for Cultural Center members (20% discount). Photo packages are sold separately. Walk-ins welcomed on a first come, first served basis.

The New Year's 'Ohana Festival is made possible in large part through a generous grant by the Hawaii Tourism Authority - City and County of Honolulu County Product Enrichment Program, as well as Platinum Sponsorship from Empowered Internet Solutions and First Hawaiian Bank. For more information on the festival, call the Cultural Center at (808) 945-7633 or email info@jcch.com.

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, strives to strengthen our diverse community by educating present and future generations in the evolving Japanese American experience in Hawaii. The Cultural Center features a Community and Historical Gallery, Resource Center, Kenshikan martial arts d¨­j¨­, Seik¨­an Japanese teahouse and Gift Shop.



TAIKO CENTER of the PACIFIC, a school of traditional and contemporary Japanese drumming, offers classes year-round to the general public for all ages and all skill levels. International performing artist Kenny Endo and instructors of Taiko Center of the Pacific will teach you aspects of Japanese culture, etiquette, and language while developing skills in rhythm and movement for taiko. Choose from classes for youth and adults in the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels or try FAMILY TAIKO with your child/friend/relative! A GREAT BONDING EXPERIENCE! No experience is necessary. Weekly one-hour classes are held on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at various times depending on the class.

Classes are held at Kapiolani Community College Annex Building (a.k.a. "The Chapel" located in the parking lot on the Diamond Head side of campus), 4303 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.

  • BEGINNING TAIKO for ADULTS starts Tuesday 1.12.2010 and Sunday 1.17.2010.
  • BEGINNING FAMILY TAIKO starts on Thursday, January 14, 2010.
  • BEGINNING YOUTH starts Sunday, 1.17.2010.

Spring Sessions (6 weeks each)
January 12--February 21
February 28--April 11
April 18--May 27

Cost: Youth & Teens=$78; Adults=$88; Family Taiko=$156 (1 adult + 1 child)

Information: 808-737-7236
Registration: 808-734-9211 OR
Download the application from our website and send application and check to:

Kapiolani Community College
Office of Non-Credit Registration
4303 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816

E-mail: info@taikoarts.com

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