Category Archives: Bon Dance

2018 OAA Members Picnic

2018 Picnic Flyer SMALL

Artwork by Richard Yamashiro

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Members Picnic
Sunday, July 15 • 11 a.m. ~ 4 p.m. (opens @ 10) • Whittier Narrows Park

750 Santa Anita Avenue, Area E-1, South El Monte • On-site parking fee: $6

(Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)

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2017 OAA Members Picnic, Scholarship Awards, Okinawan Bon Dance

Artwork by Teak Oliver

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Members Picnic
Sunday, July 16 • 11AM ~ 4PM (opens @ 10) • Whittier Narrows Park

750 Santa Anita Avenue, Area E-1, South El Monte • On-site parking fee: $6

(Non-members are also encouraged to attend the event and apply for membership)


Volunteers needed on July 15th and 16th. Click here to see the volunteer schedule and contact us to sign up: 310-532-1929,


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OAA Picnic Entertainment Schedule

13331157_10154149233680610_7176241762778589143_nThe annual OAA picnic is coming up on Sunday, July 17, at Whittier Narrows Recreation Group Picnic Area #E-1. The picnic open at 10AM; program begins at 10:45 AM. Below is the general lineup of the full entertainment schedule for the picnic.

NOTE: Schedule is subject to change

  • 10:45
    • President’s Welcome
    • VIP Welcome
    • Rajio Taiso- Radio Exercise warm-up for all!
  • 11AM – 12PM
    • Puniwai Hula Halau
    • Blaise and Phoenix Baker – ukelele
    • Ai Teshima – solo tahitian
    • Toyomu Kai – Ryukyu dance
    • Martial Arts Committee
    • Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko
    • Toyomu Kai – Ryukyu dance
    • Na Wahine ‘O Kawena Hula Halau
  • 12PM – 1PM
    • Shosetsu Kai – Ryukyu dance
    • DJ Neal – karaoke
    • Scholarship Awards
    • Kids Games (Round 1)
  • 1PM – 2 PM
    • Aikoh Kai – Okinawa minyo music
    • Raffle Drawing
    • Kids Art Contest Winners announced
    • Shosetsu Kai – Ryukyu dance
    • Kalyn Aolani Oshiro – ukelele
    • Kids Games (Round 2)
  • 2PM – 3PM
    • Logan Brothers – contemporary music
    • Raffle Drawings
    • Special overseas guests: Nema Mamoru & Motomura Atsuko – Uta-sanshin
  • 3PM – 4PM
    • Bon dancing
    • Tug O’ War- Tsunahiki
    • Raffle: Grand Prize

Check out our Facebook page for more details of the picnic. For more information, see 2016 Picnic Flyer Inserts.

Hope to see you there!

2015 OAA Picnic • Scholarship Awards • Okinawa Bon Dance

Artwork by Richard Yamashiro

Artwork by Richard Yamashiro, text by Joseph Kamiya

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Picnic
Sunday, July 12 • 11AM ~ 4PM • Whittier Narrows Park

750 Santa Anita Avenue, Area E-1, South El Monte


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2014 OAA Picnic • Scholarship Awards • Okinawa Bon Dance

OAA Picnic 2014

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2013 Okinawan Bon Dance & Picnic

The Okinawa Association of America (OAA)‘s Annual Picnic has been a tradition for local Okinawans and Okinawans-at-heart since its first incarnation in the 1930’s. The picnic has always been a highly anticipated event for families enjoying summer afternoons of homemade treats, family games, and Okinawan cultural performances. It has also become the venue for the OAA to award its annual scholarships to graduating high school students.

This year will mark the seventh year of Okinawa-style bon dancing at the OAA Picnic. Regardless of age or experience, everybody is invited to participate! Okinawa-style bon dancing is accompanied by dancing drummers (eisa) and sanshin (banjo-like instrument) musicians. The origin of bon dancing is a Buddhist ritual to soothe the souls of ancestors during the summer Bon (or Obon) Festival.

The OAA Picnic will be held on Sunday, July 7, 10AM – 4PM, at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Park (download park map), Area E-1, 750 Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte. Teriyaki bento orders ($7 each) and pre-sale raffle tickets ($1 each) are now available to purchase until June 28.  Top raffle prizes are an iPad Mini donated by Kamiya Insurance Agency, and a flatscreen HD TV donated by the OAA Seisonenbu Activities Committee. Parking is $6. Please contact the OAA office at (310) 532-1929 or for more information.

Download the bento/raffle pre-order form and raffle ticket form

Please submit your pre-order form, raffle ticket form, and payment (made payable to the “Okinawa Association of America”) to: 16500 South Western Avenue #203, Gardena, CA 90247.

Bon dance practices will take place on June 24 and July 1, 7:30 PM, at the Higashi Bldg. of the OAA Center, 16500 S. Western Ave., Gardena. Practices are open to the public. Practice videos are posted here.

Practice Videos for the OAA’s Bon Dance

20130617-BonDance The Okinawa Association of America (OAA)’s Annual Picnic has been a tradition for our members since its first inception in the 1930′s. In addition to delicious bento, cultural performances, high school scholarship awards, raffle drawings, and family games, we host the only Okinawa-style bon odori in Los Angeles! We invite all audience members — regardless of age and experience — to dance with us!

To help you prepare, we’ve produced some practice videos for the songs that will be danced at the Picnic. All of the songs are very repetitive and will be led by experienced dancers in the inner circle, so just follow along and have fun!

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Nisei Week 2012 Rewind (VIDEOS)

by Joseph Kamiya, OAA volunteer/videographer

Now that summer is officially gone, folks here at the Okinawa Association of America are winding down from Obon Festivals, Nisei Week, and other summer activities. The OAA was once again honored to represent Uchinaanchu in Los Angeles with their participation in the Nisei Week Grand Parade, having over 50 volunteers and Geino-bu (Performing Arts Commitee) dancers trekking across Little Tokyo! We were also proud to have members of affiliated groups such as Ishihara Minyo, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, Shima Minyo, and Tamagusukuryu Kansen-Kai representing Okinawa in the Tanabata Festival, Taiko Gathering, and Nisei Week’s Closing Ceremony Ondo!

For those who weren’t able to attend this year’s Nisei Week festivities (or for those who want to re-live the experience), we’ve compiled a top-5 list of the best Nisei Week videos that we could find on YouTube. If you have a video that didn’t make the list, please drop the link in the “comments” section at the bottom of this page (or on our Facebook page)!

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