School children’s dill formation to be featured in illunimated gold fish parade

Nebuta Kingyo Kodomo

Children from Los Angeles Elementary School in Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown area and their drill team instructor Jenny Mendoza, right, pose in front of Kingyo (goldfish) Nebuta (decoration) at the press conference on July 19 at a Little Tokyo hotel. (Cultural News Photo)

Cultural News, 2010 August Issue

Since Disneyland’s Electric Parade float resembling a giant Japanese float called Nebuta debuted in the annual Nisei Week Parade in 2007, the word of Nebuta has been spread beyond the Japanese American community in Los Angeles.

As new addition to the Nebuta procession, the 2010 Nisei Week Parade will feature drill team formation with hand-held fish shaped Nebuta from Los Angeles Elementary School in Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown area.

Dipicting Leo Lionni’s  “Swimmy,” a story about one black fish (dubbed as kingyo – goldfish – in Nebuta festival in Japan) in a school of red fish using both claver and wit to figure out how to protect all the fish from natural enemies, children from Los Angeles Elementary School will carry the kingyo thought the parade procession in Little Tokyo.

Approximately thirty students in drill team formation will represent Swimmy and his fellow kingyo. At periodic points during the parade, the drill team will form a vertical outline of a large fish with Swimmy as its “eye.” The predator will indeed swim away in fear of the much larger predator.

Retired school teacher Kitty Sanky coordinates this project dubbed as “Kingyo Nebuta” (Goldfish Nebuta) that parents of students in Los Angeles Elementary School to make paper goldfish, and children to perform with Kingyo Nebuta.

Hispanic dominated inner-city school provides drill team trainings as a part of after-school programs called “L.A.’s Best.”

Groups that have helped with Kingyo Nebuta also include members of the Paper Craft Art Class at the Culver City Senior Center and the Downtown Los Angeles Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.

The Nisei Week Grand Parade will take place from 5:30 pm on Sunday, August 15 through the streets of Little Tokyo.

For more information about Nebuta, visit the website, www.nebuta-la.org. About the 2010 Nisei Week Japanese Festival and the Nisei Week Grand Parade, log on www.NiseiWeek.org or call the Nisei Week Foundation office at (213) 687-7193.