Japan America Society of Southern California

   Building Japan-America Relationships Since 1909

Japan America Kite Festival®

The 22nd Annual Hitachi Japanese Kite Workshops

HITACHI Japanese Kite Workshops are made possible by generous grants from


Since its inception in 2001, every Fall Semester, the Japan America Society of Southern California organizes and coordinates its Hitachi Japanese Kite Workshops for under-served schoolchildren in the greater Los Angeles region. 

Documentary by Aaron Sharp, 2015

The Workshops are conducted by Japanese Kite Master Mikio Toki, and when available, one or more additional Japanese kite masters.  These are “hands-on,” in-classroom experiences that introduce Japan and Japanese culture through the building of a small, traditional Japanese kite made of bamboo and washi (Japanese paper).  

Mr. Toki is one of a few Edo-style kite masters left in this world.

In 2018, nearly 1,400 students participated in the workshops from 16 different schools in 7 school days.

To date, more than 16,600 under-served students have benefited from this program! 

In addition to constructing their first kite, the schoolchildren receive and experience:

  • Bamboo and washi paper Japanese kite kit
  • Society volunteers assisting the Japanese Kite Master (promoting a positive image of Americans and Japanese working together)
  • Japanese Kite Master(s) wearing traditional Japanese kite-flying kimono
  • Introduction to the history of kites in Japan
  • Display of two dozen, hand-made Japanese kites
  • Discussion of the materials and techniques used to build Japanese kites
  • Techniques to decorate the kite in a Japanese style
  • How to write one’s name in Japanese katakana characters
  • Mini-Kite Festival on the schoolyard where the schoolchildren will fly their first kite alongside the Japanese Kite Master

Through the Hitachi Japanese Kite Workshops, schoolchildren with the greatest need are provided a positive introduction to Japanese culture.  The Workshops also help develop each child’s creativity, as well as promote an “I can do it!” attitude after they successfully build and fly their first kite.  Furthermore, the Workshops have a profound and lasting influence; teachers report that during end-of-school-year reviews, a majority of students cite the Hitachi Japanese Kite Workshop as their favorite educational experience of the year!

You can help increase the number of students served!
Donate to the great cause today by clicking on the "Donate" button below.
Be sure to check "JASSC Educational Programs - HITACHI Japanese Kite Workshops".


For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kay Amano, Programs Director at 310-965-9050 x104.

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1411 W. 190th Street, Suite 380, Gardena, CA 90248

tel (310) 965-9050    fax (310) 965-9010   email info@jas-socal.org

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