Travel to Japan at Food Bazaar

Placer Buddhist Church festival this Saturday and Sunday
By: Joyia Emard Loomis News Editor
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Members of a Penryn church will serve up traditional Japanese food, entertainment and culture this weekend. The Placer Buddhist Church holds it’s 47th annual Food Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., this Saturday, Sept. 24; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25. Along with teriyaki chicken, beef donburi, chow mein and sushi, guests will be treated to performances by the Placer Ume Taiko drummers and the Na Aikane Ukulele Band. Demonstrations and displays on flower arranging, calligraphy, Haiku, Bonsai and Bunka Shishua will also be available. Beer and saki will also be available for purchase. David Unruhe, of Auburn, a church member for 20 years and chairman of the bazaar committee, said he and 30 volunteers has spent the last year planning for the event and dozens of volunteers will prep and cook the food in the days preceding the bazaar. “It takes a lot of people to put this on,” Unruhe said. Last Sunday, volunteers made 4,500 pieces of manju – a tasty dessert made from lima beans and red bean paste in anticipation of the hungry crowds who will attend the event. Unruhe said at least 300 volunteers are needed to pull off the two-day event, which can prove difficult since most of the church members come from the older generation and many are in their 80s and 90s. “They’re in their twilight years, but their kids take their vacations and come back to help,” he said. According to their website, the church was founded in 1902 and currently has nearly 300 members. Unruhe said the Japanese originally came to the area as farm workers and were eventually able to buy their own farms and ranches. He said in 1941 and 1942, Japanese students comprised one third of the graduating classes at Placer High School. Then, he said, in 1943 there were no Japanese students at the school because they had all been relocated to internment camps. While in the detention camps, many of the Japanese families lost their homes and all their property. “The numbers never came back after the war,” Unruhe said. But the members of the Placer Buddhist Church carry on the traditions established by their ancestors and share them with the community at events such as the Food Bazaar. The church is located at 3192 Boyington Rd., in Penryn. For more information, call 652-6139. PLACER BUDDHIST CHURCH FOOD BAZAAR What: Traditional Japanese food with Bingo, cultural entertainment, demonstrations and displays Menu: Teriyaki chicken, beef donburi, chow mein and sushi When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25 Where: 3192 Boyington Rd., in Penryn Cost: Teriyaki chicken box lunch, $8.50 Information: 652-6139