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Gardena Valley JCI Matsuri This Weekend

Senior Hula and other dance, music and martial arts groups affiliated with GVJCI peform at the Matsuri. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

GARDENA — The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, 1964 W. 162nd St. in Gardena, will hold its annual GVJCI Matsuri on Saturday, June 24, from 12 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 25, from 12 to 7 p.m.

Organizations and individuals who use the GVJCI facilities throughout the year show their support by running the game and food booths. The delicious food dishes include udon, somen, chicken and beef teriyaki, yakisoba, Imagawayaki, chili hot dogs and rice, tamales, Spam musubi, lau lau, shaved ice, and Okinawan andagi. In addition, supporting nurseries and produce businesses generously donate fresh vegetables, fruits, and beautiful plants for the produce market booth.

Outdoor stage entertainment showcases the many classes and programs held at the GVJCI, such as line dancing, ukulele, and taiko as well as guest performances such as hula, Japanese dance, youth community bands, and more. In addition, game booths provide even more entertainment for all with games ranging from basketball to pachinko and much more.

Downstairs in the Main Hall are the martial arts demonstrations and White Elephant and Craft Sale. The martial arts dojos that utilize the GVJCI facilities on a weekly basis provide breathtaking demonstrations, which include judo, kendo, naginata, Shorinji kempo, and Shotokan karate. The White Elephant and Craft Sale has many treasures waiting to be found at bargain prices.

On the second floor of the GVJCI Hall Building, a themed library known as The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center, complete with a tokonoma display decorating the hallway, will host hands-on activities and arts and crafts, and the Japanese Language School display.

Bingo starts at 4 p.m. both days with cash prizes. Additionally, there are prize drawings with donated prizes from local businesses and individual supporters. Some prizes include restaurant meals, jewelry, electronics and movie tickets. Ticket-holders need not be present to win.

The GVJCI office and supporting organizations pre-sell Matsuri coupon books. Each book costs $10 and includes 10 individual one-dollar scrip that are redeemable at all Matsuri booths, as well as stubs that can be turned in for the raffle drawings.

For more information, call (310) 324-6611 or visit

Saturday, June 24

Outdoor Entertainment

12 to 12:20 p.m.: GVJCI Taiko

12:25 to 12:40 p.m.: 2017 GVJCI Scholarship awardees

12:45 to 1:05 p.m.: GVJCI Senior Hula – Harriet Nagata

1:10 to 1:30 p.m.: Asian Persuasion

1:35 to 1:55 p.m.: Bando Hidesomi

2 to 2:20 p.m.: Halau Ke’ Ala O Na Lei Milo


2:25 to 2:45 p.m.: Southern California Kyudo Renmei

2:50 to 3:10 p.m.: Shorinji Kempo South Bay

3:15 to 3:35 p.m.: Naginata

3:40 to 4 p.m.: Gardena JCI Kendo


4 to 7 p.m.: Bingo

6 p.m.: Ondo dancing

Sunday, June 25

Outdoor Entertainment

12 to 12:30 p.m.: GVJCI Senior Ukulele – Chika Nagata

12:35 to 1:05 p.m.: Kanani Kalama Hula Studio


1:10 to 1:30 p.m.: Kaizen Dojo

1:35 to 1:55 p.m.: Gardena Kendo Dojo

Outdoor Entertainment

2 to 2:20 p.m.: Aloha Picking Ohana – Mel Ogata

2:30 to 2:50 p.m.: GVJCI Line Dance – Terri Slemmons’ and Jean Inouye’s class


3:15 to 3:35 p.m.: Shotokan Karate

3:40 to 4:00 p.m.: Gardena Judo Club


4 to 7 p.m.: Bingo

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