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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, March 9, 2000

Honolulu Festival
Archers in ancient Japanese garb will race toward
their marks at the Honolulu Festival. Auahi Street
will be closed Sunday for the event.

Look both ways for
flying arrows

YOU may want to step back when the yabusame take to the street Sunday.

Japan's famed equine archers return to take part in the two-day 6th annual Honolulu Festival, repeating a display of marksmanship that enthralled audiences here four years ago.

The archers, clad in the regalia of medieval warriors, will race down Auahi Street from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday on horseback, and will be required to hit three targets placed at 77-yard intervals in less than 20 seconds.

Dating to Japan's Kamakura period, 1185 to 1250 A.D., the yabusame ritual is performed in accordance with ancient precepts. Arrows were shot to expel evil influences. Additionally, the horses' hoof prints were analyzed as portents of good or bad luck.

Auahi Street will be partially closed beginning 7 a.m. Saturday, and completely closed beginning 5:30 a.m. Sunday. It will reopen at 8 p.m. Sunday. A free shuttle will run from the Blaisdell Center parking lot. Valet parking will also be available at Ward Plaza.

Other festival highlights follow. All events are free:


Thomas Square: There will be a 10:25 a.m. bon dance. Daidogei, or street performers, offer balancing and comical acts; and a crafts and products fair, soba-making demonstration, floral arrangement exhibition and tea ceremony will take place 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Repeats Sunday to 5 p.m., with 1:05 p.m. bon dance.

Blaisdell Concert Hall: Models will show the latest in kimono designed for weddings and other special occasions, 5:30 p.m. There will be music programs throughout the day from 9 a.m., ending with the Rainbow Concert, an amateur symphony concert conducted by renowned composer Hiroshi Miyagawa, 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.


Kalakaua Avenue: Grand parade from 4:45 to 8:30 p.m. will feature mikoshi, or floats, including a fire-breathing dragon, plus marching bands, Japan performers and Narcissus and Cherry Blossom queens and their courts.

Other events take place at Ala Moana Center and the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Call 792-4600 for details.


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