2017 / All-USA High School Japanese Speech Contest accepting applications, due on April 19

Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation aka Aurora Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 14th Annual All-USA High School Japanese Speech Contest held on May 27, 2017 at Humanities Instructional Building in University of California, Irvine. All applications must be mailed on or before April 19, 2017. The contestants will be invited to Los Angeles the weekend of May 26-28, 2017. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $1000 scholarship and a trip to the overseas students’ Japanese Speech Award (JSA) contest to be held in Tokyo, Japan, in the summer of 2017. Starting in 2017, the Japanese teacher of...
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2017 / Free Sake tasting at Redac Gateway Hotel, Torrance, April 16

Yamato Sake Free Tasting

Yamato Sake Brewery presents free Sake tasting on Sunday, April 16, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Redac Gateway Hotel, 20801 S. Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501, (310) 212-5222. World-renown sake brewer Tetsuya Sakurai will be pouring two of Yamato’s incredible sakes. Yamato Sake is imported by Delori Beverages. For more information, contact Kaz Tachibana at (310) 857-4860.
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2017 / Koto master Yoko Awaya to present 40th anniversary koto concert at Armstrong Theater, April 15

As of April 13, tickets are sold out. The Yoko Awaya Koto Music Conservatory (Awaya-kai) will present the 40th Anniversary Awaya-kai Koto Concert on Saturday, April 15 from 2 p.m. at the James Armstrong Theater in Torrance. The concert program is a diverse, international mix of musical genres to be performed by Awaya-kai members and special guest musicians and dancers. Awaya-kai was founded in 1975 by Yoko Awaya, a koto and jiuta sangen performing artist and teacher trained at the famed Michio Miyagi School of Koto in Tokyo. Since then, Awaya-kai has been dedicated to raising awareness of koto...
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2017 / Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute to host “Vision of the Japanese American Incarceration 1942-2017” exhibition, April 15

The Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute will be having a one day art show called, “Visions of the Japanese American Incarceration 1942-2017.” It will feature a few artifacts created in the camps, a few photos taken at Manzanar by Toyo Miyatake, and art by local artists. It will take place Saturday April 15th from 10am-4pm at the GVJCI. There will be a painting demonstration by local artist Ron Libbrecht in the afternoon around 1:30. Also at the GVJCI Genie Nakano and Alvin Takamori will be doing a book signing for “Colorful Lives.” The book is a collection of tanka...
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2017 / Fundraising concert to showcase Yukiko Matsuyama’s koto music at South Pasadena Public Library, April 14

‘East-West’ Fundraising Concert will be held on the ‘Carnegie Stage’ of the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room on Friday, April 14 at 8 p.m. The beautiful, historic Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street.  Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and seating will be “festival style”—first come, first seated. This concert will present international recording artist Yukiko Matsuyama & her band, and an ‘Unplugged’ performance by Wildwood Highway- a tightknit Classic Rock-styled unit. Yukiko Matsuyama, playing the koto, will infuse Japanese melodies with contemporary jazz, pop, and new age elements.  Wildwood Highway, a tightknit unit mixing original and cover...
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2017 / Torrance Sister City Association seeking applicants for English teacher in Japan: Applications due on April 14

The Torrance Sister City Association is seeking applicants for one experienced English teacher to work at Kashiwa Municipal High School from August 1, 2017. Kashiwa in Chiba Prefecture, is the sister city of Torrance. Applicants must live or work in Torrance, hold a Bachelor’s degree and have a teaching credential/certificate. A minimum one-year contract runs from August 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018. The contract is renewable for a maximum three-year assignment. Compensation: Annual salary of approximately 4,800,000 Japanese yen; One-way airfare from Los Angeles to Japan; National health insurance (deducted from monthly salary); Subsidized housing and transportation allowance; Paid Japanese...
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LACMA displaying an oil painting of World War II Internment barracks at American Art galley

Taneyuki Dan Harada was born in Little Tokyo in 1923, but at age of seven, he move to Japan with his mother following the death of his father. In 1938, when Harada was fourteen, the family returned to the U.S. when his mother remarried and settled in Oakland, California. In 1942, he and his family were incarcerated at the Tanforan Assembly Center, where he began painting at the Tanforran art school founded by Issei artists Chiura Obata and George Matsusaburo Hibi, along with other Nisei artists such as Mine Okubo and Frank Taira. In January 2017, Cultural News editor...
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2017 / Japanese American National Museum / Tuna Canyon Detention Station exhibition, Dec. 10, 2016 – Apr. 9, 2017

Japanese American National Museum Only the Oaks Remain: The Story of Tuna Canyon Detention Station December 10, 2016 – April 9, 2017 This special display tells the true stories of those targeted as dangerous enemy aliens and imprisoned in the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, located in the Tujunga neighborhood of Los Angeles, by the US Department of Justice during World War II. Photographs, letters, and diaries bring the experiences of imprisoned Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and Japanese Peruvians to life. This project was organized by the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition; funded, in part, by a grant from...
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2017 / Buddhist Chanting: The Sound of Enlightenment with violin solo at Buddha’s Birth Celebration, April 8

Buddhist Chanting: The Sound of Enlightenment Saturday, April 8, 1:30 – 4:00 pm Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple 815 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 In 2017 Buddha’s Birth Celebration or Hanamatsuri event, Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Federation’s theme is “Buddhist Chanting: The Sound of Enlightenment.” The 2017 Hanamasturi service will provide an opportunity to experience the sounds of different chanting styles within the Federation’s temples. And as the prelude to the 15 pieces of the Buddhist chanting, violin music will be performed by internationally recognized musician Ken Aiso. Listening and reflecting on these sounds of chanting...
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2017 / English Rakugo in Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, April 5

Osaka-Style English Rakugo (Japanese Sit-Down Comedy) in Las Vegas Wednesday, April 5, 6 – 8pm Lowden Theater, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts 875 East Clark Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89101 Admission: FREE *No Reservation Required On the evening of April 5, the renowned English Rakugo performer, Kaishi KATSURA will humor audiences in Las Vegas with his Kamigata (Osaka-style) English Rakugo at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts’ Lowden Theater. Also performing as part of this unique event are Asakichi KATSURA, an English Rakugo performer; Lucky Mai, a traditional Japanese-style juggler; and Masako KATSU, an accompanying shamisen player. This Japanese entertainment event in...
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2017 / Video presentation of “Enka” songs in original context at Doizaki Gallery, Feb. 26 – April 2

Eanka installtion by Bruce Yonemoto

The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center “The First Karaoke: Enka!” at Doizaki Gallery Feb. 26 – April 2, 2017 When veteran video artist Bruce Yonemoto was visiting Taiwan, he discovered the original meaning of Enka, an abbreviated form of “enzetsu no uta” (oratorical song) in 1880s in Japan. It originally described anti-government protest songs sung in the streets. In the installation of “The First Karaoke: Enka!” at the Doizaki Gallery of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles, Yonemoto creates current version of original context for Enka songs in Taiwanese, Chinese, and Japanese. He updated...
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2017/Makoto Taiko with Grammy winner Koji Nakamura to present “RISE!” concert at Arcadia Performing Arts, May 6

Makoto Taiko in Pasadena presents “RISE!” – its 11th Annual Concert on Saturday, May 6 at 7:00 pm at Arcadia Performing Arts Center, 188 Campus Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007. Tickets are $9.99 – $29.99. 20% discount all tickets until April 1. To buy tickets, visit www.makototaiko.org Makoto Taiko’s RISE! is a powerful concert of Japanese drumming with Grammy Award-winning Taiko Master Koji Nakamura and guest artist Eien Hunter-Ishikawa. With a foundation forged from intensive training with the renowned Taiko group Ondekoza, Koji Nakamura has helped craft Makoto Taiko into one of the largest and most diverse ensembles in the...
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