Saturday, May 5, 2001

Quality time for
kids and moms

CHILDREN and their mothers will be treated to a big free celebration today "on" Ala Moana Center.

The Temari Center for Asian and Pacific Arts marks May 5 each year with traditional Japanese and other ethnic activities for the public.

Today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers for the nonprofit organization will be spread throughout Ala Moana guiding hands-on craft activities, according to Temari Executive Director Ann Asakura.

"The big monetary donor making this possible," she said, "is Ala Moana Center; in honor of Children's Day and in celebration of Mother's Day."

May 5 was formerly referred to as Boys' Day according to Japanese tradition, and is customarily celebrated by families with boys, by flying colorful silk koi nobori, or "flying carp" outside the home honoring each male in the household.

In recent times Boys' Day and Girls' Day (March 3), were combined into Children's Day, although many families still observe each day independently.

Asakura said children will be able to make paper koi nobori, gecko visors, and kites.

She said the kites will be made "in the shape of yakko-dakko," named after an old Edo-period servant who carried all the goods of the manor's lord "It's a neat kite -- very masculine," she said.

Another favorite offered this year is "gyotaku," or fish-printing, in which ink or paint is applied to a fish and the print is transferred onto paper or fabric. This year, Asakura said, a baby octopus will also be used to make prints, "cute, you know."

"By doing children's activities for 20 years, we found out that lots of kids don't know how to sew a plumeria lei," Asakura said, so that will also be among the activities.

Children will also be able to make mini-bouquets for mom with flowers from the Moichi Okada Association, whose Hawaii location along the Pali Highway is landscaped with numerous colorful flowers.

"Ala Moana is very savvy about promoting this childrens' day event, even at the end of the (teachers' strike)," Asakura said. "And with (Asian Development Bank) activities going on, our kids still come first."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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