Mikio Toki, one of Japan’s most famous kite masters, will be one of dozens of kite maters participating in the seventeenth annual Japan America Kite Festival. The kite festival will take place on the beach at the Seal Beach Pier in Seal Beach, Calif. On Oct. 20, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Attracting more than 12,000 visitors , the Japan America Kite Festival is the largest single-day kiting event in the United States and the largest Japanese-themed kiting event outside of Japan. Admission to the festival is free.
Japanese Kite Master Mikio Toki will visit from his hometown, Chiba, Japan, to fly and display and fly his traditional edo-dako, traditional Tokyo-style kites constructed with washi paper and thin bamboo sticks. Toki also will help with the festival’s free children’s kite workshop in which every child can build and fly a small kite.
Also joining the festival is Japan’s 1998 world-champion of sport kiting, Chieko Tagami. Tagami will conduct introductory lessons on precision sport kiting flying, also free of charge.
Presented by the Japan America Society of Southern California, in coordination with the Up Up & Way Kite Club, the Japan America Kite Festival features more than 1,000 kites of all sizes, including giant “Show Kites” the size of a city bus. There also will be performance stunt and sports kite demonstrations, synchronized kite “ballet,” as well children’s activities, including kite candy drops and kite tail chase for younger children.
The festival also showcases Japanese cultural activities, including Edo Ame-zaiku (candy sculpture), Taiko drum performances, Naginata (long handled, sword fighting), Bon Odori dancing (summer folk dance) and Tsugaru shamisen music performances. Visitor can also sample some Japanese foods including onigiri rice and takoyaki snacks.
Held annually at the Seal Beach Pier since 1996, the Japan America Kite Festival is sponsored by Mattel, Inc. Delta Air Lines is the official festival airline and additional sponsors include Hitachi, Ltd, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, and the Nikkei Women Legacy Association.