Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Carnival 2011


The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI) has held its annual carnival for the past 33 years since 1978.  Among delicious food, great performances and demonstrations, and fun games and exhibits, you can undoubtedly feel that lively, community spirit that has drawn people to this carnival for years. For more information about the GVJCI and the carnival, please visit

Slides in this album 


There were a wide variety of performances to watch throughout the weekend on the main outdoor stage.   Shaded from the hot sun, carnival go-ers were able to sit back and enjoy performances such as heart-pounding taiko, beautiful hula dancing, and break dancing moves that had the crowd "OOHing" and …

JCI Carnival Performances
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Judo Demonstration

Showcasing some of the martial arts classes that are held at the GVJCI throughout the year, various martial arts demonstrations were held indoors, downstairs in the JCI Hall.  These demonstrations featured Shotokan Karate, Naginata, Judo, Kendo, Shorinji Kempo, and Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu.  

In this picture, Judo students are showing the …

JCI Judo Demonstration
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Kendo Demonstration

At the end of their demonstration, Kendo students line up and take a bow before removing their equipment.

JCI Kendo Demonstration
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Executive Director Conducts nTyme Pep Band

A very surprised Alison Kochiyama, the Executive Director of JCI, was invited to conduct Glen Kamida's nTyme Pep Band on the spot.

JCI Executive Director Conducts nTyme Pep Band
Contributed by: mkochiyama

And the Winner Is...

Raffle tickets are drawn every half hour for which you can win prizes or gift cards donated by various vendors and local organizations.

JCI Raffle Tickets
Contributed by: mkochiyama


Dawn Kita sells her delectable mochi and arare cookie mixes every year.  Butter mochi is a best seller.  

JCI Mochi Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Okinawan Andagi Booth

You can't have JCI Carnival without those mouthwatering dangos!  Always a crowd favorite that tends to sell out fast, so make sure you get them early!

Rodney Kamiya from Kalama Hawaii has presumably been running this booth since the very first JCI Carnival!

JCI Carnival Okinawan Andagi Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama


During your visit at the JCI Carnival, you are bound to hear people boisterously chanting, "YAKI-SOBA!  YAKI-SOBA!" If this doesn't encourage you to buy some scrumptious yakisoba, then the mouthwatering smells surely will.  The always enthusiastic JCI Kendo club runs this booth.

JCI Carnival Yakisoba
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Behind the Scenes

Taking a break from cooking dangos and yakisoba, volunteers hang out in the back of the booths.

JCI Carnival Behind the Scenes
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Beef and Chicken Teriyaki Booth

Families from the local sports organizations, Sansei Baseball and South Bay F.O.R. Basketball, operate this booth.

JCI Carnival Beef and Chicken Teriyaki Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Shaved Ice :)

Kurt Ikeda, shaved ice master, excitedly hands one of his snow cone creations to an eager girl.  

JCI Shaved Ice Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama


You can get either azuki or blueberry imagawayaki and taiyaki (which is shaped like a fish)!

JCI Imagawayaki
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Into the JCI Nisei Veterans Hall...

Throughout the year, the JCI Nisei Veterans hall is home for different classes such as Qi Gong, Creative Stitchery, and Stretching for Seniors as well as the site for an assortment of special programs and the daily Senior Lunch Program. 

JCI Nisei Veterans Hall
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Combo Booth

At the Combo Booth, you can choose from a variety of options: corn, spam musubi, fresh watermelon slices, chirashi, char siu bao, and cold somen salad.  Some of the volunteer teachers from the summer youth camp at JCI, Tanoshii, are helping out at this booth.

JCI Carnival Combo Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama


If you go deeper into the JCI Nisei Veterans Hall, you will find the udon station!

JCI Carnival Udon
Contributed by: mkochiyama


Beautiful origami displayed in one of the upstairs classrooms.

JCI Carnival Origami
Contributed by: mkochiyama

1000 Cranes for Fukushima

"Fold your thoughts and prayers for the people of Fukushima into an origami crane.  These cranes will be sent to Fukushima via the Fukushima Kenjinkai."

Created by origami teacher, Arisa Su, this project kept people coming in to show their love and support for the people of Fukushima.  Much sooner …

JCI Carnival 1000 Cranes for Fukushima
Contributed by: mkochiyama

The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center

Sue Miyabe, a Bridge volunteer, talks to an interested couple about what The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center is.  Its vision is to "bridge" the gap between generations and educate people about Japanese American cultural heritage, creating a legacy for the future.  The center includes a library with a wide selection …

The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center
Contributed by: mkochiyama

"The Eastern Japan Earthquake 3.11.2011." Tokonoma Display

Carnival go-ers respectfully examine the The Bridge: JCI Heritage Center's featured display concerning the recent earthquake disaster in Japan.

"The Eastern Japan Earthquake 3.11.2011." Tokonoma Display
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Information Booth

At the information booth, you can buy tickets for food and games, pick up the carnival program or flyers about JCI's classes and events, or ask the volunteers where the nearest bathroom may be.

JCI Carnival Info Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Volunteer Booth

A volunteer checks in before her shift.  

Volunteers are integral for this carnival to function.  Volunteers from JCI classes and programs as well as community sports and church organizations come help take shifts for all aspects of the carnival.  Volunteers run the booths, cook the food, and provide the …

JCI Carnival Volunteer Booth
Contributed by: mkochiyama

View from Above...

Taking a look at the carnival from the second floor of the JCI building.

JCI Carnival View
Contributed by: mkochiyama


Down this row, kids with blow up bats and stuffed animals in hand run back and forth to claim even more prizes!  Games include Pitch-til-U-Win, Goldfish, Line-A-Line, Six Ball, Basketball Shooting Game, and Jingle Board.

JCI Carnival Games
Contributed by: mkochiyama

In the Secret Prize Room...

Dale is hard at work counting inventory and sorting prizes to be picked up for each of the booths.

JCI Carnival Prize Room
Contributed by: mkochiyama


Pachinko, the Japanese pinball machine, is very popular among the kids at the carnival.  A long time friend of the JCI and Pachinko machine collector graciously lends some of his Pachinko machines to the carnival every year.

JCI Carnival Pachinko Machines
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Wreckin Crew and the Beat Kidz

Wreckin Crew and their students, the Beat Kidz, rehearse upstairs in a classroom before their performance.  Wreckin Crew teaches a weekly youth breakdancing class to kids in the community.  

JCI Carnival Wreckin Crew and the Beat Kidz
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Japanese Language School

The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute Japanese Language School was established in 1912 as Moneta Gakuen and will be celebrating their 100th anniversary next year!  They provide Japanese language classes for children and adults.

JCI Carnival Japanese Language School
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Saga Art Center

They Saga Art Center provides a station for carnival go-ers to make bracelets every year at the carnival.

JCI Carnival Saga Art Center
Contributed by: mkochiyama

More Crafts

Private craft vendors sell their special, handmade scarves, jewelry, and trinkets

JCI Carnival Crafts
Contributed by: mkochiyama


At the end of the night, as the food starts to sell out and performances come to a close, people of all ages whip out their lucky charms for Bingo.  Bikes or money are given to the winners.

JCI Carnival Bingo
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Another Successful Year :)

It is a bittersweet moment when the JCI Carnival comes to an end.  The weekend that you have been working so hard for and looking forward to is over.  You are exhausted from putting up all those banners and stuffed from constant eating throughout the day, but you know it …

JCI Carnival View 1
Contributed by: mkochiyama

Album Type

Community Event

mkochiyama — Última actualización Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

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