Free fun for Children’s Day in Little Tokyo!

Free fun for Children’s Day in Little Tokyo!

Event Recap

An AAPI market in celebration of AAPI month, a meet-and-greet with Jun Endo from ACFC, a golf ball art activity by LAGC, Olympian Sakura Kokumai teaching karate, hip hop, Japanese dance, and music performances, and MORE?? Yup, all of this (and more) went down at Budokan for Children’s Day this year!

On Saturday, May 4th, 2024, Terasaki Budokan hosted the third annual Kibō Nobori festival, a celebration of the Japanese holiday Children’s Day. This was a free event open for the community to enjoy. Kibō Nobori, planned in partnership between Terasaki Budokan, co-mrkt, artist Faith-Ann Kiwa Young, and Tanoshii Project, and sponsored by Angel City Football Club, Los Angeles Golf Club, Composer Talk, and Sanzo was a fun-filled day featuring art, music, performances, a marketplace, food, and activities for the whole family. Plus, this year was the first time we hosted the event in collaboration with JACCC and Kizuna with their Kodomo no Hi event, which happened on the same day in Little Tokyo! Guests were encouraged to visit both campuses to enjoy all Little Tokyo had to offer for Children’s Day.

Kibō Nobori art installations will be up at Terasaki Budokan for the first half of May, so be sure to check out Amabelle Aguiluzs sculpture in Terasaki Budokan’s courtyard, Shizuka Kusayanagis painting prints in the lobby, and Kibo Nobori founder’s, Faith-Ann Kiwa Young, flag installations in the outdoor plaza and playground.

First-time attendee Courtney said, “This was my first time coming to Kibo with our one-year-old, and we had such a great time! There were plenty of activities and performances we were able to enjoy and so many memories we were able to make. We can’t wait to come back next year!” Her husband, and Director of Budokan, Ryan added, “It’s so great to have an event I can take our son to as a way to connect him with his Japanese culture. Being able to screen print our own tote bag, try food from a variety of AAPI vendors, and watch traditional Japanese folk dance as a family was so special.”

Not only was the programming of the event lively, but a flag art installation above Budokan’s plaza brought even more color and vibrancy to the celebration. Kibō Nobori (きぼう のぼり), which translates to “hope flags,” was the idea of half-Japanese artist, Faith-Ann Young, to honor her culture and spread hope and joy within the community. She says, “I’m passionate about creating colorful, immersive art and spaces, where people can reflect, connect, and heal.”

One of the highlights of the day was an impromptu hula performance by Ohana Hula, a program here at Budokan. After their class ended in our community room, they decided to head over to the plaza and perform a few pieces. In addition to the seasoned hula program participants, two little girls had just joined for the first time. With help from their mom, they performed with the rest of their classmates and instructors- and it was a big hit

Later in the day, a first-time attendee strolled into the event because he heard music and saw the flags. He said it seemed so welcoming, so he wanted to check it out and ended up staying for the last performance and enjoyed boba from one of the vendors!

Hear from the Community!

Talking with some of our sponsors and performers, it was great to see how much everyone enjoyed Kibō Nobori this year:

LAGC said they were honored to kick off AANHPI Month with Kibō Nobori by sponsoring the event and bringing a super fun activity to the kiddos. 

Music performer, Stephanie Yanez, said she was so honored to be a part of an event like this and that she hopes to join next year. 

One of the co-mrkt vendors thanked the Budokan team after the event saying that it was so special and had a great energy to it.

Friidom, one of the dance performers, commented on how performing in a setting like this really enabled him to connect with the kids. He hopes that all of the art that was showcased at Kib teaches them about expressing themselves and how important creativity is. 

ACFC’s Senior Manager of Community Outreach, Sulema, said, “Joy was palpable in every activity that took place during the day from guests and staff alike. I was blown away by the amazing performances and am thankful I had the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture in such an inclusive and welcoming environment.”

Thank you to everyone who volunteered, supported the co-mrkt vendors, watched the performances, joined the activities, and came out- you made Kibō Nobori a success!

It was such a meaningful day, and we hope you all had a great time. To see photos/videos of the event, follow us on Instagram!


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