TSCA MEETS MONTHLY ON THE SECOND MONDAY OF THE MONTH. There is are association meetings during the months of August and December.
Our programs include: Student Exchange, Bunka-Sai, Host Family, Adult Leader, English Teacher, Alumni Reunion, *Kashiwa Day, Goodwill Anniversary Visits, Kashiwa Educators and City Officials Visits, Kashiwa International Relations Association (KIRA), Partnership Award
This scholarship program began in 1974. Each July, Torrance sends a maximum of eight students to Kashiwa for three weeks; in August, Kashiwa sends a group to Torrance. The students stay with host families and learn firsthand about the people, the culture, and the way of life. As youth embassadors, the students represent their Sister City Associations, their cities, and their countries in a program that fosters understanding of, and respect for, a different culture.
Who is eligible:
- Any student currently enrolled in high school, or enrolled at the college level (who will not be older than nineteen at the time of the trip).
- The student must be a full-time resident of the City of Torrance.
Selected students attend eight orientation sessions to prepare them for their trip. Upon their return, their families host a Kashiwa student in August. The Torrance Sister City Association scholarship covers the majority of the expenses. The expense to each student is a portion of the airfare, gifts to host families in Kashiwa, and spending money.
An adult leader accompanies the students.
Updated applications are available for download on the Join/Participate page of this site when they become available. During the application period, they will also be available at the school counselors' office.
Learn more abou the Student Exchange Program. Click here.
Apply for the program. Click here for the application. (174K .pdf)
This TSCA's Japanese Cultural Festival (Bunka-Sai) was started in 1973 as an annual event generally held on the third weekend in April. The objectives of this two-day event are:
- To provide the community with an opportunity to learn about Japanese culture
- To raise funds for the Student Cultural Exchange Program
This event is held at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center and includes:
- Entertainment: tea ceremony, calligraphy, dances, songs, martial arts, taiko drums, koto
- Exhibits: flower arrangements, bonsai (miniature trees), handmade dolls, Girls' Day dolls
- Food: sushi, teriyaki, yakisoba, dango, curry, cotton candy
- Raffle: Hourly drawings in addition to a major drawing at the festival's conclusionArts and Crafts: origami, sumi-e, Japanese batik, washi, temari
- Gifts: kimonos, lacquer ware, fans, ceramic ware, Japanese fabric items
- Admission and parking are free. Volunteers are always needed.
Learn more about Bunka-Sai. Click here.
Host families are needed in Torrance each August to host the students and adult leader from Kashiwa. Each family hosts an exchange student for ten to twelve days.
The families of students who are selected to go to Kashiwa are required to host. Additional families are also needed since each Kashiwa guest needs two host families during their visit.
All families are welcome to apply. Host families are screened by TSCA members prior to selection.
Daytime activities, one weekend, and some night activities are scheduled by TSCA. Each host family has some evenings and one weekend to plan family activities with their guest.
An orientation meeting is held for all host families in late June or early July.
Learn more about becoming a host family. Click here.
An adult leader accompanies the student delegates on the cultural exchange trips held each summer. TSCA pays all travel expenses for the adult leader.
Who is eligible to apply: An adult who
- lives or works in Torrance
- has a background in education, counseling, youth activities, and/or behavioral science
- has a keen interest in and strong desire to learn about Japan
- is at least twenty-six years old at the time of the trip.
- Participating in the Student Selection Committee
- Serving as a good role model for the students
- Organizing a visual record of the trip, showing typical activities
- Participating in orientation sessions
An application can be downloaded on the Join/Participate page, or call (310) 618-2930 for information.
Learn more abou the Adult Leader Program. Click here.
Apply to be an Adult Leader in 2019. Click here for the application.
Since 1979, TSCA has selected and sent English teachers to Kashiwa to work with high school students at Kashiwa Municipal High School. They are called Foreign Language Lecturers and develop and present composition and conversational English lessons in their own classes. The position is for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. Please see the flier for details on the responsibilities and requirements.
Recruitment begins in January. Selections are made by the end of May. There are currently no openings at this time.
Learn more abou the Kashiwa English Teacher Program. Click here.
In early January, TSCA hosts an afternoon lunch originally intended as an occasion for alumni of the student exchange program to gather and maintain their friendships. Over the years, the Alumni Reunion has expanded to include the inauguration of new TSCA officers, the presentation of TSCA's Partnership Award, and Introduction of that year's student-exchange adult leader and candidates for the summer's student-exchange delegation.
Every five years, Torrance and Kashiwa exchange anniversary visits. Each delegation includes the Mayor, city officials, and TSCA members. The Torrance delegates visit Kashiwa in October or November prior to the Kashiwa delegates' visit to Torrance in February. These exchange visits strengthen the ties of friendship, goodwill, and cooperation between the two cities.
Trees are planted during the anniversary celebrations as symbols of friendship. Kashiwa oak trees are planted in Kashiwa. Cherry trees are planted in Torrance on the east lawn of the Cultural Arts Center.
Click here for 45th anniversary photos
Educators from Kashiwa come to Torrance to visit schools in the Torrance Unified School District. Their objective is to exchange information and to learn new educational methods. Their itinerary includes visits to one or two local schools. Principals, vice principals, and classroom teachers from Kashiwa participate in these visits.
City Assembly Members, department heads, and other city employees from Kashiwa also visit Torrance. Their objective is to exchange information and acquire new ideas and strategies related to city government. Their itinerary includes visits to hospitals, the Fire and Police Departments, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, and Senior Citizen Centers.
2020 Partnership Award winners: Mr. Takamitsu Ozawa, President, Otafuku Foods, Inc and Mr. Koji Kawana, Vice President, JSL Foods
Each year a person or organization that is exceptionally supportive of TSCA is selected to receive the TSCA Partnership Award.
TSCA Partnership Award Winners
2006 Oriental Motor U.S.A. Corp., Inc. - Life member
2007 Mrs. Shiko Fujizawa - Ikebana teacher
2008 Ken Miller - former Mayor who signed the Sister City agreement in 1973
2009 Mrs. Hiroko Ikuta - Tea ceremony and calligraphy instructor
2010 - no recipient
2011 Kawai Sumi-e Club - calligraphy club
2012 Madame Bando Mitsuhiro - Dance group teacher
2013 Mr. Shun Kohrogi, Director of Saga Art Center
2014 Koyu Kai Bonsai Club
2015 Torrance Naginata Dojo
2016 Kirk Rossberg
2017 Susan Sanborn
2018 Partnership Award winner: Linda Canada, Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego
2019 No recipient