The Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC), in coordination with the Up Up & Away Kite Club, announce Southern California’s largest kiting event, the Japan America Kite Festival , will take place on the beach at the Seal Beach Pier in Seal Beach, Calif., on Oct. 4, 2009, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is free to the public and attracts some 10,000 visitors each year.
Japanese Kite Master Mikio Toki will visit from his home and kite workshop in Chiba, Japan, to display and fly his traditional edo-dako (traditional Tokyo-style kites constructed with washi rice paper and bamboo). Toki also will conduct free children’s Japanese kite workshops where every child can build and fly a sode (kimono-shaped) kite.
In addition to Japanese kites, the festival will feature more than 1,000 kites of all sizes, including Susan and David Gomberg’s giant 300-400 square-foot “Show Kites.” The Gombergs perform at 20-30 events each year and have participated in festivals in 35 states and 25 countries, including providing kite shows for Disney, the London Millennium Celebration, and the Super Bowl. There also will be performance stunt and sports kite demonstrations, synchronized kite “ballet,” as well children’s activities, including kite candy drops and other fun kids games.
Japanese cultural activities at the Festival will include sushi provided by Toro Sushi, the official sushi vendor for Angels Stadium; Edo Ame-zaiku (Traditional Japanese candy art); and cultural demonstrations such as Taiko Drum performance and Naginata (long handled, wood sword fighting).
Held annually at the Seal Beach Pier since 1996, the Japan America Kite Festival is free to the public, thanks to generous support from the Festival’s presenting sponsor, Mattel, Inc., and sponsor, Hitachi, Ltd. Other sponsors include Ayres Hotel, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Bogart’s Coffee House, Bridge USA, Kinokuniya Bookstore, Toro Sushi Bar & Grill, Yakult USA, Inc. and Up Up & Away Kite shop in Seal Beach.
About Japan America Society of Southern California
Founded in 1909 to build economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and America. It is the West Coast’s premier educational and public affairs forum dedicated to the United States-Japan relationship. JASSC is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable education organization and is supported by 120 Japanese and American corporate members and 2,000 individual members.