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Hula into the long weekend

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

Hawaiian culture experienced a bit of a boost recently as the denizens of Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku neighborhood began snacking on the U.S. island’s foods.

Not to be outdone, Osaka will be hosting a three-day festival this weekend, which should get Golden Week off to a sunny start.

The Hawaii Festival marks its seventh anniversary this year. It has been getting bigger and draws around 10,000 visitors.

More than 10 groups are scheduled to perform at the festival, including Hula dance performers from the Ka Uluwehi Hula and Ka Lino Pawalu Hula studios, and Tahitian dance performers Hivaora. Many of the participants in these shows are students at hula schools, which are known in Hawaii as halau. People who teach the dance are known as kumu hula, meaning source of knowledge.

There will be plenty of food and drink booths at the festival, and online Hawaiian souvenir store Love Aloha will run its own booth, with some of its stock priced at a discount.

Summer isn’t too far away, so a hula dance or two might be a good way to get ready for this year’s island vacation.

Hawaii Festival in Osaka 2014 takes place from May 3 to May 5 at Minato Machi River Place in Naniwa-ku, Osaka. Admission is free. For more information, call 06-6532-4792 or visit www.sites.google.com/site/hawaiifestivalosaka (in Japanese).