• Friday, October 19, 2018
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Fun With Food| TGIF| Top News

At its root the Daikon Festival is all about gratitude


    The annual Daikon Festival in Mililani draws enthusiasts of all ages, who are invited to harvest the sturdy root vegetable, which is popular in Japanese and othercuisines. Brady and Elliott show off their harvest.


    Hideo and Seiko Imoto with a daikon dish — wagiri-daikon — served at a previous year’s festival.


    Dishes prepared for sale or sampling can vary from festival to festival. This daikon gyoza was a popular item at a previous year’s event.


Saturday’s 12th annual Daikon Festival at the Honbushin International Center in Mililani offers families the opportunity to dig up daikon, sample different dishes containing daikon and other foods, and participate in the community festival built around gratitude.

“The Daikon Festival is about sharing God’s blessing, or nature’s blessing, because thanks to these blessings, we are able to grow food,” said Yuhi Yamasaki, event coordinator.

Honbushin International Center presents a modern interpretation of the ancient Shinto religion of Japan.


Where: Honbushin International Center
When:10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free admission
Info: 623-7693, honbushin.us

Why revolve a festival around the long, mild white radish?

“We are known for our daikon. People come here to buy daikon,” Yamasaki said. But the meaning goes beyond the versatile vegetable.

“Daikon is a strong root” and is symbolic of the strong root within one’s self, the coordinator said.

Given society’s busy lifestyles, many children — and people in general — don’t get to put their hands in the soil, to gain an appreciation of where our food comes from, Yamasaki said.

The center encourages attendees to wear appropriate footwear, sun protection including hats, and to bring gloves for harvesting daikon.

Food booths will offer items for sale, from $2 for a rice ball or something similar, up to $5 for a fried noodle dish, and many choices in between. The church also will be selling pickled daikon, in many varieties.

“We’ll have all new, all different stuff this year,” Yamasaki said.

A vegetable bazaar, small craft booth, live entertainment and cooking demonstrations will round out the event.

“We usually have 600 to 700 people, but it’s been getting popular, little by little,” Yamasaki said.

Even if the festival draws an additional crowd of new daikon hunters, there will be ample parking, she said.

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