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Ventura County News Roundup

SIMI VALLEY : Festival to Feature Japanese Culture


Japanese culture will be celebrated at a festival Saturday at Simi Valley High School.

Bonsai trees will be displayed by Harry Kobashigawa, president of the Japanese-American Community Center in West Los Angeles. Madame Fumi Akutagawa of Moorpark and her students will demonstrate ikebana , the art of arranging flowers.

Japanese dancing will be shown by master teacher Azuma Kikuse of Westlake Village, and Madame Kumiko Serizawa of Sepulveda will demonstrate Japanese doll making. Karate will be shown by Bruce Kanegai and his students, ranging from children to adults.

Kanegai organized the event in the hope of exposing local residents to Japanese culture.

"Not only am I proud of my own heritage, but I want people to be proud of their own," said Kanegai, a fourth-degree black belt who teaches art at Simi Valley High School. "By understanding the Japanese culture, you can better appreciate it."

The festival runs from 1 to 5 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Simi Valley High School, 5400 Cochran St. A $3 donation per person is requested.

On Wednesday, students at Simi Valley High School were given a taiko drum demonstration by John Mori, a member of the rock-jazz group Hiroshima, along with other drummers. Funding for both events is being provided by state school improvement funds and money raised by the Simi Valley High School Art Club.

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