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tv   Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa  NBC  April 3, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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hello and welcome to "asia-pacific america." i'm robert handa. your host. the northern california cherly blossom festival taking the spotlight today. what better way to start than an overview of the festival, including a selection of the ch cherry blossom queen. one of the featured festival events is part of our show today. the arts group is here to show a program of traditional and contemporary dance form. the cherry blossom festival of san francisco could be a place where you could win a trip to
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the hawaii food and wine festival. we'll talk with the association about it. and we close our show with more popular attractions at the festival including making and collecting traditional japanese paper dolls as well as the northern california japanese sword club made up of collectors, students, martial artists, and lovers of the japanese sword. i certainly plan on being at the cherry blossom festival this year. it's a major cultural community event. along with the selection of the cherry blossom queen and her court, there's an enticing theme to this year's festival. joining me now is greg maloria and kelly, the 2015 northern california cherry blossom queen. welcome to the show. >> great to be here. >> give us an idea this is the 49th year of the festival. what is in store this year? >> you know, it's a special
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year. the 110th anniversary of japantown. that's kind of a special year. on top of that, we're also in the off season, if you want to call it, planning the 50th. that's coming up. we have pretty quiting things coming to the festival as well as normal things we have. >> i know it was big last year. bigger this year? >> away. it expanded. it has more vendor booths and more programming and a little bit for all the anme. we'll have a fashion show on the stage. it's going to be nice. >> i mentioned about the theme this year you wanted to incorporate this year's festival. what is the theme? >> well, a partner of asian art museum. they created this interactive art display where all the festival goers can actually color in cherry blossom petals and stick it on a canvas.
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it's the wish for peace. and the whole thing about really generating a love of the community. and that's important to the japanese community, as you know, it's gone through a lot of things. especially in japan town. not only world war ii, but also redevelopment as well. >> that's right. the internment. and there's the sympathy and empathy for the muslim community what they're going through now. i know the japanese-american community empathizes with what they're going through. >> exactly. a lot of people i talk to from the profiling going on is bringing back some pretty tough memories. >> it's nice to incorporate a little bit of that into the festival. it's mostly fun. that's for sure. >> kelly, give us an idea what the year has been like for you. >> it's been amazing. it's gone by so fast. we've been doing a lot of volunteerism throughout the
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community, and i didn't know how large this japanese-american community is, and i just had a pleasure and our court has had pleasure of meeting all these new people. >> my wife arlene, and i were picking the queen and her court a couple of times over the years, and the young people. you get a lot of involvement, a lot of young people this way. do young people still consider the festival important? do they still come out? >> yes. i have a lot of friends who are planning to come to the festival. i think the festival brings in a lot of people to help volunteer and to enjoy the food and enjoy the music. so i think it's a great place for people to have fun and make great memories in japantown and have them come back. >> and build up to the 50th. >> absolutely. >> keep in mind. >> yeah. absolutely. >> thank you both for being here. good luck. i'll see you at the festival. >> thank you. the 2016 northern california cherry blossom festival will be
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take place april 9th and 10th as well as the 16th and 17th at japan town in san francisco. for more details go to and stay with us. the full range of art forms including dance and music to the festival and our show next.
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the cherry blossom festival is a good time for those not acquainted with the arts to see a group that delivers such a wide spectrum of art forms. a group well known in the san francisco japan town as well as bay area asian community. joining me now is the founder and executive director. she is a well known and respected artist who has been performing locally, nationally,
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and internationally for more than 20 years. thank you for being here. >> thank you. i imagine your roots being in the bay area, i would imagine the festival is important to you. >> i feel it's critical we keep the festival. it's one of the landmark festivals in our japan town and it's so important to keep that cultural alive. it's one of the best ways to do it. >> how did it start? >> that's a very interesting thing to talk about. i started my coming to the community center to teach the elderly how to play tyco. i was approached by parents to teach their kids. from 4 1/2 on up i've been teaching kids for the last 20 years. >> you incorporate modern contemporary as well as traditional, right? >> yes. i've been fortunate enough to meet with some other musicians, francis long with the hm and we do collaboration and i learn how
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to incorporate different things. we're doing the special 110th anniversary piece. and we're using -- and doing japanese dance as well as modern dance. >> you're going to give us a little bit of a performance? >> yes. >> thank you very much. melanie is going to perform. she'll performing most of the days at the cherry blossom festival. we look forward to that. but right now we look forward to this. enjoy!
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♪ [ applause ] >> thank you very much. >> you can catch melanie at the cherry blossom festival and almost every day at the festival. thank you for being here. >> thank you. next how the festival in san francisco could help you get to another festival in hawaii. details coming up!
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and visitors to the northern california cherry blossom festival in san francisco could end up at the big hawaii food and wine festival in october. we pretaped our interview with our next guest. the cherry blossom festival plays a big part in the hawaii and food wine festival which
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takes place in october. you may go because of a drawing taking place at the cherry blossom festival. joining me is the executive director of the beach resort association in hawaii. aloha! >> aloha. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. it's great. >> give us an idea, we have talked about it before, but how did it get started and to be the event it is now? >> originally alan wang internationally renowned chefs. they wanted to do something great for the farmers and the community and spotlight the food. they did 25 years ago with wine regional cuisine and the food has been evolving. we have the new chefs coming up, greatfarmers. they said let's do another festival. >> yeah. what type of food and wine will people see? >> wines from all over the place. southern wine and spirits is
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actually our beverage sponsor, but we also have distilled spirits and brewed spirits here on our island of maui ait'll ru the gamete. >> you touched on it already, but, you know, any kind of festival and wine would be great. what makes it such a great the scope of it? >> first of all, we're an island community and we're a melting pot of culture, and we get chefs from all over the world come. it gives them an opportunity to cook with unique products that are there from our community. and they get to talk with and work with these other chefs that come from the area. and i think one of our favorite quotes was every fish that gets put down has a story behind it. it's really a great experience. so it's a very good cultural exchange. they get to learn a lot about our culture through the food.
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>> i remember we talked about it last year. one of the things they brought up the unique atmosphere, you know, great chefs being around other great chefrs. you know, the people who are providing the food being there for the presentation of the food. it's really a pretty unique situation. >> yes. and the balmy weather and the shorts and slippers, you know, it's a great event. you really feel the aloha and the comradery when we get together. >> one thing we like is tieing it in with the cherry blossom festival, it makes us feel like something is more connected here not just something happening in hawaii. which a lot of people are interested in anyway. what is the package offered? >> a fabulous package. come down to the nbc booth nbc bay area -- and, you know, in collaboration with the cherry blossom festival, the beach resort and alaska airlines are giving a three-night stay, air fare for two, tickets to one of
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the events in maui. it's going to be fabulous to win that trip. >> how do people do it? >> come down to the nbc booth at the cherry blossom festival and enter to win. >> it's something if people aren't familiar with it, i mean, it will give you a kind of unique perspective on another part of hawaii that people don't think about too much. >> absolutely. you can go to hawaiifo and see the chefs coming in. they're from all over the world. it's fantastic. >> each dish has its own story and personality. >> it does. and nothing is better than under a maui sky. >> shelly, thank you very much for being here. >> you're welcome. good seeing you. >> good seeing you. the food and wine festival in hawaii takes place in october but there will be a drawing to go at the cherry blossom festival from april 9th and 10th in san francisco's japantown. to enter, visit the nbc bay area
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booth. the drawing will be on april 10th at 4:00 p.m. for more information, go to and yes, i did get to keep that colorful lei. next japanese paper dolls and japanese swords. two different cultural attractions both at the festival. and both coming up on our show.
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we have two popular attractions at the festival and fascinating topics. joining me now is arochelle, an artist from the paper doll group. a native san francisco began who has become an expert in an art form hundreds of years old and the program director for the northern california japanese sword club who moved to japan as a mission to study japanese swords for art. give us an idea in terms of the art form and how you got involved. >> this is japanese paper dolls, and i got involved by attending
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a cherry blossom festival. that's where i started to get interested in it and the person who did the demonstration also taught a class. >> what is important culturally to understand about the dolls? actually, the cultural part is you understand how people are living back then, what they live, how they eat, how they dress. it's partly cultural. i think -- >> people will see a lot at the festival. >> but the dolls we can shrink everything. in a display you u can see how people live and what they did and the various forms of doll making. >> as well as your expertise. show us a little bit in terms of what goes behind this? >> it starts as a -- we would roll it and make it into a spindle shape and cut into an egg shape and covered with people to form a head.
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then we crinkle paper. we crinkle the tools to form the line to here going down this way. then we cut it into a different parts of it. this is the back hair, this is the top hair, and this is the front hair. it's combined into this doll head. then when you cover it with paper, this is the neck. and the body is all out of cotton. >> yeah. this being television we're making you go faster than you normally would. it's a delicate. >> it usually takes three to four hours. i'm going to though you how to do one fast. this is a dressing. it's one of the major complex parts. if you come to the cherry blossom festival, jcc cultural center, we'll be doing ongoing demonstration as well as other
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instructors. you'll see us do the demonstration as well as see the dolls. in is intry candidate. some of the other students will be doing dolls or other pictures. >> this is kind of maintaining sort of a cultural art form. >> yeah. it's like a dying form because you don't see it when you go to japan unless you happen to know someone who is going to -- who knows a special exhibit. >> okay. >> let's take a look at what you did there. very nice. thank you very much for doing this so quickly, especially. thank you. we look forward to seeing you. >> you're welcome. let's turn to tom. give us an idea. i mentioned your organization. how did it get started. what is it you want to make sure people get out of seeing your exhibits and seeing what you do at the festival. >> the northern california japanese sword club grew out of
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the japanese-american community in and around san francisco. collectors and lovers of japanese art and t. there was a strong group of collectors in the city already. >> it's like an offshoot of the appreciation of the samurai. >> absolutely. so after the war, families came back the americans had been to the pacific and got an interest in japanese art and culture. especially the japanese sword. they were welcomed by the community and they became our teachers, our -- there was a book written in english in the 1950s and he founded not only
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the northern california japanese sword club but part of developing the japanese sword society of the united states. >> one way to get a cultural appreciation is to look at the design and the embellishment. >> as many people know, the symbol of the samurai is his pair of swords, the long sword and short sword. here we've got a fine example of matched set, which they're actually fairly rare. the blades and all of the fittings are of the finest quality, and what you'll see here is, you know, the work done. the garb with which protects your hand and being used. parts of the handle are in the -- and then you have the dress up the handle itself and what you'll see is that many
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people will collect just the setting and not the blade. some people collect just the fittings which go with the sword and there are many people who believe that, you know, the real beauty is in the blade itself. and so, you know, we meet the third sunday of every month at the japanese culture community center in japan. anybody of any age or level of interest is welcome to join us for free. and we learn about swords and their place in history. we learn about the shape of the blade the workmanship in the line that we see. we learn about the history of the sword and on the tang of the sword you often see the signature of the artist and dates when the sword was made or maybe the record of how it might have been used at one time.
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>> thank you very much for showing us that. we look toward to both of the exhibits at the cherry blossom festival. thank you. i'll be dropping by with my family. that's it for our show. don't forget two weekends to catch the northern california cherry festival and parade on april 17th. join me and my colleagues on the nbc bay area float. you can get more information by going to and we're on social media, twitter, and facebook. we welcome your feedback. thank you for being here and joining us. join us again next week on "asian pacific america." thank you for watching.
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good morning. winter in april. the northeast getting pounded this morning by that big storm that rolled across the country. >> i started screaming and yelling, oh, my god. >> high winds, heavy rain, even snow in some places. temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below normal today from boston to the big apple. and this new blast of wintry weather isn't over yet. dylan's tracking it all. trump's apology? a rare mea culpa from the republican front-runner about the picture of ted cruz's wife he retweeted and it comes after a very bad week for him and the potential of a big loss in wisconsin. we're live on the campaign trail. philly flans flying.


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