First Annual Nikkei Celebration in Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights Community Partners and the Little Tokyo Historical Society will host the first annual Boyle Heights Nikkei Celebration on Sunday, August 7, in the historic Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The celebration will be an opportunity to learn about Japanese-American history, neighbors and business owners from the city’s second-oldest community.

The event, which is open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. in Saratoga on East First Street with a parade ending at Otomisan (Boyle Heights Historic Restaurant), 2506½ E. First St. After the parade, cultural entertainment and shows will take place, including a public ondo at 6 p.m., another opportunity to dance this summer.

Skid Row-kyo Mission’s Little Tokyo Dance Club was invited to lead the ondo. Ryujin Taiko will be on the yagura and participants will dance to a mix of traditional and pop songs.

Performers will include Japanese classical dancer Nancy Hayata and Hikari Taiko, who is based at the Southeast Japanese Language School and Norwalk Community Center. Jeffrey Chin will read an excerpt from “A Rebel’s Outcry,” a biography of community leader Sei Fujii. The Nisei Week Court will make an appearance.

Speakers will include Vivian M. Escalante, CEO and President of Boyle Heights Community Partners; Michael Okamura, president of the Little Tokyo Historical Society; District 14 Council Member Kevin de Leon; and David Monkawa, Co-Chair of Save Our Seniors Network.


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