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Friday, March 28, 2008

'WANKORI' FESTIVAL

Have your fill of scrumptious Korea


Staff writer

Onekorea: The term usually refers to the hope that North and South Korea will one day be reunited. In Japan, it's also shortened from the Japanese pronunciation (wankoria) to the cute-sounding "Wankori" and used by the diaspora to refer to their biennial cultural festival, which this year will be held at Yoyogi Park on Sunday from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m.

News photo
Cooks stir the soup in a gigantic pot of jigae, a spicy Korean specialty featuring tofu and various meats

About 30,000 people are expected to turn out for this celebration of all things Korean, with an emphasis on culinary delights.

Meat lovers are advised to skip breakfast on the day. Actually, they might want to skip breakfast for the week, considering they will be able to gorge themselves with scrumptious skewered savories at stalls set up by not one, not two, not three, but 14 yakiniku barbecued meat restaurants.

And then there's the jjigae, an often spicy form of soup with tofu and different types of meat.

The Wankori version is made in a pot big enough to bathe in; it's 2 meters across, 80 cm deep, weighs 800 kg and holds enough to feed 2,000. Which means with 30,000 people to compete with, you have only a one-in-15 chance of getting some. Be quick!

Once you've had your fill, head to the main stage where among the entertainment options are a fashion show, where 16 fashion students will present their contemporary takes on the traditional Korean dress, including kimono.

There will also be a series of miniconcerts, featuring artists with Korean roots: Pushim, Chozen Lee, KP and the Pak Poe band.

Admission is free. For more details see www.onekoreatokyo.com



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