Sunday, June 25th, 2006 | 11:24 pm and filed in stuff.
Every other year, a group of 18 visitors from Kato City in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan (兵庫県 加東市 日本 ) come to the area on a goodwill mission and to experience life in San Benito County [Hollister Frelance Article]. My father was very active with the Hollister Sister City Association, and so I feel somewhat obligated to carry on the tradition. As an officer of the local JACL chapter, One of my responsibilities is organizing a send off dinner for the visiting guests, the host families, as well as representatives of the community. The JACL Hall is located a few block away from the Historic Mission grounds in San Juan Bautista.
The normal menu is a generic style BBQ - usually Tri-Tip Beef, Chili, Salad, Garlic Bread, and grilled vegetables. Going into the event, I was planning for about 75 people, and ended up with close to 90 showing up. Fortunately, the members brought in a lot of food including sushi and other japanese specialties, fruit salads, fried chicken, and even chap-jae! There was a more than enough food.
One of the highlights of the evening was the entertainment provided by local taiko drummers of the Shinsho Mugen Daiko Group. Thanks to the help of my friend, Christine Bowes, the drummers came over from another gig they had earlier in the day. Inside the long space of the hall, the sound of the taiko drums was massive and rattled the neighbors. (This is a future sampling project at some point down the road. I want to hypersample some taiko loops!) It was pretty loud, and prompted the Sheriff came to see what was going on. The Kato-City Delegates also provided some entertainment by singing a song, and performing a celebration dance as well as an obon dance.
Despite the fact that we were short handed, I managed to enlist some volunteers who really helped make the evening special. The next morning, I went to see the delegates off, and again, they expressed their appreciation for our efforts. This type is a fairly large undertaking, and being in charge of organizing _everything_ was pretty stressful; but in the end it was all worth it.